At Issue this week... October 26, 2016 2016 Election Barone (17) Buchanan (20) Cushman (29) Harsanyi (15) Hollis (16) Lambro (6) Limbaugh (3) Thomas (18) Tyrrell (17) CFPB Will (12) Clinton, Hillary Lowry (21) Murchison (13) Saunders (21) Cultural Decline Fields (9) Dear Mark Levy (19) Disaster Recovery de Rugy (22) Free Press Napolitano (23) HFCs Jeffrey (24) Immigration Massie (14) McCaughey (4) Iraq Bay (25) Left, The Buchanan (10) Sowell (5, 9, 13) Leslie’s Trivia Bits Elman (14) Media Bias Bozell (4, 6) Coulter (7) Malkin (31) Saunders (11) Thomas (30) Monopolies Williams (30) Obamacare Malkin (5) Obama Presidency Morris (10) Presidential Debate Elder (8) Trump, Donald Barone (2) Charen (29) Chavez (25) Krauthammer (18) Lowry (26) Moore (1) Morris (26) Prager (27) Schlafly (28) Visions Greenberg (22)
Donald Trump by Stephen Moore
Yes, I still support Donald Trump
have been asked a dozen times by news reporters over the last week: Do you still support Donald Trump? The elites at the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN would love to be able to add me and dozens more to the list of Republicans who have publicly denounced the Trump-Pence ticket. What I don’t get about the prominent Republican defectors who have declared they are now for Hillary Clinton is why they get this weird high off being praised by the leftists in the media. Is it really that important to them to be back on the invite list for the next press club dinner? YES, I AM offended by many of Trump’s actions and words. Who isn’t? But who isn’t offended and frightened more by every word uttered and action taken by Hillary Clinton? I’d vote for my pet frog over Clinton, but alas, he’s not running. How many leftists in the media or in the Democratic Party have renounced now that Clinton and her top campaign operatives have exposed themselves in emails as anti-Catholic and anti-evangelical bigots? The left keeps asking, “How can Christians still support Donald Trump for president?” Here’s one answer: She’s for abortion (and as a senator, she even voted against the banning of partial-birth abortions); he’s pro-life. She’s an anti-Catholic bigot, and he’s not. It will be the day that hell freezes over that the media writes a column asking: How can any Catholic, in good conscience, vote for Hillary Clinton? Even if you believe that Clinton and Trump are louts, why vote for the lout who will raise taxes, put three more Sotomayors on the Supreme Court, cripple our energy industry, double down on Obamacare, support partial-birth abortion and worship at the green altar of climate change? Why not vote for the lout who will do the opposite? What is more troubling to me than the rapid-fire verbal assaults on Trump — many of which, alas, he brought upon himself — is the denigration of his voters. We’re learning that it isn’t just Clinton who thinks they are a “deplorable” bunch of racists, xenophobes and homophobes. As Trump has faltered in recent days, the never-Trumpers on the right have almost triumphantly assailed the voters who have rallied so mightily and hopefully around him.
Trumpism is now ridiculed on left and right as the movement of “dumbed down” voters and “white supremacists.” Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush speechwriter and now a columnist for the Washington Post, argues victoriously that Trump’s “fate is deserved.” He calls Trump voters those who “hold an absurdly simplistic anti-establishment
Moore (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
attitude.” Yes, what a strong defense — by someone who is of that very establishment, which he and so many others who are marinated in the elite Washington culture defend. WE’D BETTER dare not elect someone with “an outsider persona who lacks actual political skills” or else — what? We might get a president who is asleep at the switch before the biggest financial crisis in 75 years, or a president who runs up trillion-dollar deficits, or gives hundreds of billions of dollars away to the banks, throws millions of Americans out of their jobs, puts 40 million people on food
stamps and regulates our lightbulbs, toilets and washing machines. Oh, wait. That already happened under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. If these elites want an “insider” and not an outsider, there is no better candidate in all of America than Hillary Clinton, America’s queen “public servant.” She has spent nearly $1 billion of special-interest money to trash the outsider who wants to toss over the apple cart in Washington. When I first met with Donald Trump many months ago, the first thing I told him was: “Donald, I don’t know if I love you, but I sure love your voters.” I don’t always agree with them on issues such as immigration and trade. But what I’ve come to discover is that it is the Trump movement, more so than Donald Trump himself, that is an existential threat to the establishment elites on the right and left. These Americans are the front-line victims of government run amok. At a recent rally in Colorado Springs, I spoke with a Trump voter who said it well: “All we want from government is less of it.” WIN OR LOSE on Nov. 8, we are not going away. October 18, 2016
DONALD TRUMP: October 14, 2016
Donald Trump’s invisible ‘shackles’ “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Donald Trump tweeted at the reasonable hour of 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Shackles? There were no visible shackles on Trump when he launched his severalnews-cycles-long assaults on Judge Gonzalo Curiel in May, Khizr Khan and his family in July and Alicia Machado in September. No reasonable person thinks House Speaker Paul Ryan or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised him to make these headline-grabbing attacks. It’s hard to think of any Republican member of Congress who would (well, maybe one or two). A QUICK glance at the polls shows that each of these attacks was followed by a downdraft in support for Trump. Recent polling suggests he has been in decline since the first debate, which was Sept. 26, and quite possibly in free fall after the release of the Access Hollywood tape Oct. 7. None of this had to be. Trump’s success was the result of multiple factors. He shrewdly, if clumsily, perceived that many, maybe most, Republican voters were at odds with party leaders’ stands on trade and immigration.
He understood the vulnerabilities of licans to handle Trump any way they the inevitable Democratic nominee, Hill- want, including with disavowal. “Civil war in the Republican Party!” ary Clinton. (Some never-Trumpers lament that he didn’t run in the Democratic proclaimed the headlines. Asked whether primary.) A Democrat whom two-thirds there is any precedent for this, Nate Silof voters consider dishonest and untrust- ver of FiveThirtyEight answered, “Not worthy and who, unlike other Demo- in my lifetime.” That’s probably right. Silver was born crats, doesn’t score well on “cares about and presumably started people like me” is, by historical stan- in 1978 seriously following dards, a suboptimal politics in the 1990s. candidate. That’s when Bill Barack Obama Clinton busted the won 51 percent of Republican lock the vote in 2012. (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate on the presidency, Clinton hasn’t Newt Gingrich reached that level in polling against Trump since August busted the Democratic lock on Congress and support for presidential and congres2015. Before his attacks on the admirable sional candidates in the respective parties judge, the gold star parents and the dodgy started converging — to the point that Miss Universe, polling had Trump just in 2012, only 26 congressional districts about even with Clinton. He had multiple voted for the presidential nominee of one plausible paths to the 270 votes needed party and the congressional nominee of for victory in the Electoral College. Now the other, the lowest number since 1920. it’s not clear that he has any. BUT IN THE 1970s and 1980s, plenPerhaps that’s what has got him feeling the shackles are off and launching at- ty of voters split their tickets, and dozens tacks on other Republicans. He tweeted of Senate and House candidates, espeTuesday that Paul Ryan is “our very cially Democrats but also some Repubweak and ineffective leader,” that John licans, built their careers and ran their McCain is “very foul mouthed” and that campaigns on issue positions sharply “disloyal R’s are far more difficult than distinct from those of their parties’ presiCrooked Hillary.” That was a day after dential nominees. Voters understood this. Ryan’s conference call advising Repub- In 1972, voters in 191 districts voted for
the presidential nominee of one party and the congressional nominee of the other. Almost half the districts Richard Nixon carried elected Democratic representatives. Voters can split tickets if they want to. After the cascade following the Access Hollywood tape, some 87 Republican members of Congress and governors have renounced Trump, out of mixtures in varying proportions of conscience and calculation. But the process got started long before the tape or the conference call. Members with a district comprising many Hispanics (Mike Coffman), many Washington insiders (Barbara Comstock) or many affluent college graduates (Bob Dold) have been refusing to support Trump for months — just as Northeastern Republicans shunned Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Southern Democrats shunned George McGovern in 1972. Unlike the case with the past four elections, there are perceptible differences between the Republican presidential nominee and most party officeholders. Republicans who want to differentiate themselves from Trump have plenty of material, on issues and on character. A POLITICIAN’S strength is his weakness. Donald Trump’s impulsiveness, an asset in primaries, is now a liability. His criticisms of other Republicans are unconvincing as an alibi for his likely defeat, and they divert attention from Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses, which could conceivably produce another result. He’d be wise to put the shackles on and keep them on.
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October 26, 2016 2016 ELECTION: October 14, 2016
Still voting for Trump: We must defeat Clinton
The fighting among the neverTrumpers, the Trumpers and the neverHillarys is approaching a fever pitch, with mutual accusations of abject immorality. As the election gets closer, I see the horrors of a Clinton presidency in increasingly clearer relief. I acknowledge that this may cause me to rationalize some of my earlier distaste for some things about Trump, but I have to remember that my vote for Trump isn’t an endorsement of everything he’s done. WHAT DOES this mean for me? I’m not saying I no longer have reserabout him or his poliWell, some people on the right faced v a t i o n s cies. I do. with this binary My decision to choice have convote for Trump isn’t cluded they can’t a contradiction of in good conmy position durscience vote for (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate ing the Clinton Trump, no matter impeachment that how bad Clinton is. Some acknowledge that Clinton is character matters or that private conterrible but believe that Trump could do duct is relevant in the election of public more damage to conservatism and thus officials. Nor am I betraying my Christhe nation in the long run — even more tian values to vote for a candidate who, than a Clinton presidency at this pre- in almost any scenario I can imagine, carious moment in our nation’s history. would be better for America than Clin]I confess that I momentarily ton. People suggesting that Christians weighed all the possible scenarios, but voting for Trump have sold their souls I could never remotely convince my- are ignoring the moral implications of self that a Trump presidency would be not voting for Trump and thereby enworse for the nation than a Clinton one. abling Clinton’s destruction of our naI have not changed my mind despite the tion. Now that, my conscience wouldn’t tolerate, though I don’t judge those who recent charges against Trump. ]We are used to seeing Republicans disagree with me on this. If I were voting for Trump in a vacubeating one another up during the primaries, and the most recent three cycles um, this would be different. But Clinton — 2008, 2012 and 2016 — involved isn’t a vacuum. She’s more like a vulextremely vicious infighting in some ture lying in wait to end the republic as cases. As a frequenter of Twitter, I have we know it. Accuse me of hyperbole or witnessed this firsthand. This year’s pri- alarmism if you must, but I genuinely mary was hands down the worst, but fear Clinton could do irreversible damthat’s not the only way this year is dif- age to the country. And millions agree ferent. In the previous two cycles, there with me. Some say, “Look at what you are was some residual discontentment, but most eventually united around the GOP condoning if you vote for Trump.” And nominee, notwithstanding lingering ru- I say, “I’m condoning nothing, but if mors that millions of evangelicals sat you want to use that metric, look at what you’re condoning if you don’t try to do out the 2012 election. ach passing day, this presidential election becomes more distasteful, but that doesn’t relieve me of my duty to do what I believe is right. During the primaries, there were 17 GOP candidates, and I chose the one I believed would be the best for America. Now my realistic choices have been narrowed to two candidates — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — one of whom will be the next president.
everything you can to prevent another Obama-Clinton term.” Evangelicals withdrawing their support for Trump need to consider what they’re abetting by not doing everything in their power to prevent Clinton’s election. In my view, we can’t pretend we have other choices and wash our hands of responsibility by sitting this out. Nor does acknowledging that God is in control absolve us, as Christians, from doing our part. IF YOU WANT to know what we’d be in for with Clinton, consider what she’s done and how she’s wholly escaped accountability for all of it. In every respect, she is worse than the worst allegations against Trump, including the treatment of women. Look at what happens when Democrats are in control. The Justice Department and IRS have been politicized. If recent reports about the outrage of FBI agents over Director James Comey’s refusal to indict Clinton for her email felonies are even 25 percent true, this is incredible. Clinton won’t even get a wrist slap. Consider also the Clinton Foundation corruption, as well as the WikiLeaks bombshells and the media collusion in ignoring them. Fear a Trump presidency if you choose, but in electing Clinton, America would be ratifying her egregious misconduct, her self-serving corruption and President Obama’s agenda on steroids. It would be giving her a mandate from hell. It’s not just about Supreme Court appointments, though more liberal activists would enable an unprecedented assault on our liberties and the Constitution. A Clinton presidency would result in more babies destroyed in the womb; more encroachments on the Second Amendment; further degradation of the
military; open borders and all that entails; the continued disaster of Obamacare and possibly worse with singlepayer, which has always been Clinton’s dream; higher taxes and dramatically increased regulations; ongoing economic malaise; more government dependency; continuing escalation of racial tensions; a further breakdown in law and order, with more violence in the streets and an ongoing war on cops; the acceleration of the dangerous national debt and of the insolvency of our entitlement programs; an escalation of the war on business; more demonization of the socalled wealthy; further deterioration of our vital relationship with Israel; more domestic and foreign terrorism; further proliferation of the Islamic State group; the sucking of more revenue and human resources into environmental and globalist projects; a possible IRS vendetta against Clinton’s Republican and conservative opponents; nightmares from Iran; and more hostility to the energy industry, making us less energy-independent. We’ve already seen the one-sidedness that allows Clinton to escape scrutiny and accountability, and she’s not in power. Imagine if she were. Could a Clinton presidency finally succeed in suppressing the dissent of political opponents — including through the socalled Fairness Doctrine, designed to emasculate conservative talk radio? IN SHORT, if Clinton were to win, in all likelihood, she would consummate Obama’s crusade to fundamentally transform America into something the Framers and most of us never envisioned and couldn’t tolerate. Suffice it to say that I am not going to be shamed on moral grounds for fighting to prevent this calamity.
IMMIGRATION: October 19, 2016
Immigration center stage in election
mmigration will take center stage like building and grounds maintenance tonight at the final Donald Trump and food preparation and serving. That — Hillary Clinton debate. Clin- benefits business owners and consumton dreams of “open borders.” Count ers, but the data show it depresses the on her to yank on your heartstrings. But standard of living of wage earners in workers who are losing their jobs to these industries — the people mowing packaging frozen foods newcomers from other countries should l a w n s , and serving burgers. be skeptical. As Harvard econoTrump’s chalmist George Borlenge will be to jas shows, it also convince vothurts immigrants ers that looking (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate already here who out for American are struggling to workers first is not racist or xenophobic. It’s simple make it. economics. Clinton’s “dream” of open CLINTON HAS declared income borders is a nightmare for wage earners. inequality public enemy No. 1. She’s IN THE LAST 12 months, jobs held campaigning to raise the federal miniby immigrants have increased five times mum wage. That’s two-faced, so long as as fast as jobs held by U.S.-born work- she allows immigration to drive down ers. The American labor force is being wages of disadvantaged minorities, indisplaced at a rapid pace. To add insult cluding high school dropouts and peoto injury, some pink-slipped workers are ple with limited English. Midlevel computer workers and being forced to train low-wage replacements after they’ve been fired. Last skilled technicians are also getting year, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, fired 250 tech workers, and MEDIA BIAS: October 19, 2016 then demanded they spend their final weeks on the job teaching their replacements from India. Clinton promises to protect American jobs. Don’t count on it. Do the math. Clinton’s “private position” on n Oct. 16 on his CNN show open borders — her secret dream of Reliable Sources, host Brian unlimited immigration — is one of Stelter took the denial of libthe bombshell revelations in the recent eral media bias to a new level. In the WikiLeaks dump of her paid speeches. wake of hundreds of emails underlining Now it’s clear why she refused to dis- media-Democrat collusion, he insisted close these speeches when Bernie Sand- that every American should deny the ers demanded them. evidence: Sanders smelled a rat during the pri“In Trump’s world, journalists are mary season, when Clinton courted la- really just (Hillary) Clinton campaign bor with assurances she’d preserve their workers in disguise, collaborating with jobs. He warned that her globalist views her in an attempt to rig the election. This would allow wealthy corporations is not just false. It’s ludicrous, and it’s “to bring in all kinds of people [who] damaging.” work” for low pay and “would make everybody in America poorer.” He did ON WHAT planet does this man the math and saw that it’s already hap- live? Even by Clinton News Network pening. standards, this is ridiculous. Since November 2007, jobs belongA charge of leftist media bias this ing to native-born workers have de- election cycle is about as ludicrous as clined by 1.5 million, while jobs held claiming that the sun rises in the east. by immigrants (legal and illegal) have All these WikiLeaks emails give firstgrown by two million. In the last year hand evidence of the so-called “objecalone, employment by native-born tive” press acting like badly disguised American workers inched up a meager Clinton campaign workers. If this sort one percent. Immigrant employment of fraud were illegal, these reporters shot up five percent. would be headed for Sing Sing. Some economists point to Adam What’s false, ludicrous and damagSmith’s long-held theory that the in- ing to democracy is the idea that this visible hand of the global marketplace sort of journalistic betrayal is ethical should allow labor and raw materials and permissible. to move wherever they will be used to Start with this: How can a CNN host maximum benefit. In short, open bor- so blithely dismiss the compromise of ders and free trade. a CNN town hall between Clinton and But in the U.S., Smith’s invisible Sen. Bernie Sanders when Donna Brahand is smacking labor upside the head. zile — CNN pundit and professional A steady stream of newly arriving Democrat — allegedly fed an actual workers keeps wages down in industries question to the Clinton campaign ahead
slammed by an influx of foreign workers brought here expressly to undercut their salaries. Current U.S. law allows companies to evade immigration limits and bring in foreign workers under H-1B visas to fill jobs as long as it doesn’t “adversely affect” conditions for U.S. workers. But as one laid-off Disney worker said, “Was I negatively affected? Yeah, I was. I lost my job.” During the Republican primaries, Donald Trump attacked these special visas and pledged, “If I am president, I will not issue any H-1B visas.” Trump’s
hands are not entirely clean — he used similar immigration loopholes to staff his resorts — but he says what he did as a businessman and what he’ll do as president are different. MEANWHILE, tech firms like Facebook and Apple are pushing for more — not fewer — H-1B visas and looser immigration laws. Tech moguls are funneling millions to support Clinton’s presidency. Money talks, and it’s never been truer than with the Clintons.
Trump’s right: The media is rigged
of time? It doesn’t matter whether Brazile grabbed the question from CNN or its partner, the black-oriented cable network TV One. She was a CNN contributor rigging a CNN event. CNN’s Jake Tapper called this Brazile scandal journalistically “horrifying.” Apparently, Stelter thinks his colleague Tapper is false, ludicrous and damaging. If Corey Lewandowski were feeding town-hall questions to Donald Trump, we can guess Stelter would have a heart attack on air.
Bozell (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
ON STELTER’S show, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan agreed that this whole liberalconspiracy theory is “absurd.” She said, “Nobody is sitting in a room with each other and planning to, you know, do anything evil to a candidate.” So what do you call the Washington Post publishing the Trump sex-talk tape in six hours, whereas it sat on the Paula Jones story for months? What’s absurd is denying that liberal bias is in full corrosive effect. What the WikiLeaks email trove is exposing is how reporters individually pandered and plotted and manipulated Clinton’s media coverage. They were at
Clinton’s beck and call. Unsurprisingly, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos harshly interviewed Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer on April 26, 2015. In an email, Clinton campaign staffer Jesse Ferguson boasted Stephanopoulos was a perfect servant, saying: “Great work everyone. This interview is perfect. (Schweizer) lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work).” New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich was allowing Clinton Communications Director Jen Palmieri to pick and choose which Clinton quotes to use in a July article, and which to bury. She listed her vetoes, then imperiously announced: “Let me know if that is not clear. Working from an iPhone on the plane so am not able to access the transcript to cut and paste.” Why would anyone try to suggest that treating reporters like drive-in carhops on roller skates is professional journalism in action? Why would anyone deny the irrefutably obvious? THERE’S AN easy guess: Because Wikileaks is exposing the media-Democrat collusion that is utterly routine in every election cycle. The Brian Stelters don’t want to admit there’s anything sleazy about this. Are they doing their part to rig the elections in favor of the Democrats? Of course, they are. Lord knows we don’t want those poor, uneducated, easy-to-command types to carry the day.
October 26, 2016 OBAMACARE: October 12, 2016
Obama lied. My third health plan just died Like an estimated 22 million other be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will Americans, I am a self-employed smallbe able to keep your health care plan. Pe- business owner who buys health insurriod. No one will take it away. No matter ance for my family directly on the individual market (as opposed to group what.” Then I imagine Vincent Price’s evil insurance through a company or third “Thriller” laugh reverberating at the end party). Our most recent plan features a ductible with a $1,000 of that cruel punchline: Mwahahahaha- $6,000 demonthly premium. It’s nosehaha! bleed expensive, (Actually, you but provides us accan play a real-life cess to specialists horror soundtrack not curtailed by by watching bureaucratic gateObama’s jerk (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate keepers. This has speechwriters Jon Lovett, David Litt and Jon Favreau cack- been important for us because several le with liberal PBS host Charlie Rose members of my family have required EVERY TIME we receive a cancel- earlier this year about authoring Obam- specialized care for chronic illnesses. Once again, however, I’ll soon be lation letter, I recall President Obama’s acare’s big lie. Google it, but take your talking about our plan in the past tense. big lie: “If you like your doctor, you will blood pressure medication first.)
Once was a shock. Twice was an outrage. Thrice is a nightmare that won’t end. Over the past three years, my family’s private, individual health insurance plan — a high-deductible Preferred Provider Organization — has been canceled three times. Our first death notice, from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, arrived in the fall of 2013. Our second, from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, came last August. Three weeks ago, we received another ominous “notice of plan discontinuation” from Anthem informing us that the insurer “will no longer offer your current health plan in the State of Colorado.”
THE LEFT: October 18, 2016
The left and the masses
he greatest moral claim of the political left is that they are for the masses in general and the poor in particular. That is also their greatest fraud. It even fools many leftists themselves. One of the most recent efforts of the left is the spread of laws and policies that forbid employers from asking job applicants whether they have been arrested or imprisoned. This is said to be to help ex-cons get a job after they have served their time, and ex-cons are often either poor or black, or both. First of alL, many of the left’s policies to help blacks are disproportionately aimed at helping those blacks who have done the wrong thing — and whose victims are disproportionately those blacks who have been trying to do the right thing. In the case of this ban on asking job applicants whether they have criminal backgrounds, the only criterion seems to be whether it sounds good or makes the left feel good about themselves.
HARD EVIDENCE as to what actual consequences to expect beforehand, or hard evidence as to its actual consequences afterwards, seems to have had very little role in this political crusade. An empirical study some years ago examined the hiring practices of companies that did a background check on all the employees they hired. It found that such companies hired more blacks than companies which did not follow that unusual practice. Why? This goes back to decisionmaking by human beings in general, with many kinds of decisions in general. Since we seldom have all the facts,
the direction of “social justice.” Tons of painful evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, that the welfare state has in fact been a step backward toward barbarism — among low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States — does not make a dent in the beliefs of the left. The left’s infatuation with minimum wage laws has likewise been impervious to factual evidence that the spread and escalation of minimum wages have been followed by far higher rates of unemployment among young blacks, to levels some multiple of what they were before — and to a racial gap in unemployment among the young that is likewise some multiple of what it was before. Those who doubt this need only turn to the data on page 42 of Race and Economics by Walter Williams, or to the diagram on page 98 of The Unheavenly (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate City, written by Edward Banfield back in 1968. The facts have been available JUST AS THOSE on the left were for a long time. Surely the intelligentsia of the left not moved by hard evidence before they promoted laws and policies that forbad have access to empirical evidence and employers to ask about job applicants’ the wit to understand such evidence. criminal records, so they have remained But the real question is whether they unmoved by more recent studies show- have the stomach to face the prospect ing that the hiring of blacks has been that their crusades have hurt the very reduced in the wake of such laws and people they claim to be helping. policies. EXAMINING HARD evidence Moreover, the left is so invested in the idea that they are helping the dis- would mean gambling a whole vision of advantaged that they seldom bother to the world — and of their own role in that check the actual consequences of what world — on a single throw of the dice, they are doing, whether that is some- which is what looking at hard evidence thing as specific as banning questions amounts to. The path of least resistance about criminal behavior or something as is to continue going through life feeling general as promoting the welfare state. good about themselves, while leaving In the vision of the left, the welfare havoc in their wake. state is supposed to be a step forward, in we are often forced to rely on generalizing when making our decisions. Many employers, aware of higher rates of imprisonment among blacks, are less likely to hire blacks whose individual backgrounds are unknown to them. But those particular employers who investigate everyone’s background before hiring them do not have to rely on such generalizations. The fact that these latter kinds of employers hired more blacks suggests that racial animosity is not the key factor, since blacks are still blacks, whether they have a criminal past or not. But the political left is so heavily invested in blaming racism that mere facts are unlikely to change their minds.
Choices for families like mine have evaporated in the era of Obamacare. In Colorado, UnitedHealthCare and Humana will cease selling individual plans next year. Rocky Mountain Health Plans is pulling out of the individual market in all but one county. Nearly 100,000 of my fellow Coloradans will be forced to find new insurance alternatives as open enrollment approaches on Nov. 1, according to the Denver Business Journal. As Anthem abandons PPOs, the cost of remaining individual market plans will soar an average of 20 percent. IT’S A NATIONWIDE implosion. Individual market customers on the Obamacare exchange in Oklahoma learned last week that they’ll face average rate hikes of a whopping 76 percent. Last month, Maryland approved double-digit rate hikes for all individual market plans. In August, Tennessee approved rate increases of between 44 and 62 percent for three insurers still carrying individual market plans. And in Minnesota, where the individual market is on the brink of collapse, state officials recently agreed to raise rates an average of 60 percent next year — affecting an estimated 250,000 people both on and off the Obamacare exchanges. The private individual insurance market is in peril. The government-run exchanges are flailing. And the vaunted nonprofit Obamacare co-ops that were supposed to dramatically lower costs have bombed despite billions in taxpayer subsidies. I believe this insurance market meltdown — which many of us predicted from the get-go — is not by accident, but by design. Or as Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak put it: “This system has been doomed from the beginning.” Smug propagandists for Obamacare, such as liberal magazine Mother Jones, continue to dismiss the plight of millions of families like mine and accuse us of concocting a “phony” crisis. But it’s the architects of Obamacare who prevaricated all along. Remember: Obamacare godfather and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber bragged that “lack of transparency” was a “huge political advantage,” along with what he derided as “the stupidity of the American voter.” THIS WEALTH redistribution Trojan horse was sold to gullible Americans as a vehicle for expanding “affordable” access to health insurance for all. Now, millions of us are paying the price: Crappier plans, fewer choices, shrinking access to specialists, skyrocketing price tags — and no end in sight to the death spiral. Mission accomplished.
2016 ELECTION: October 13, 2016
Please: Let’s get this election over with
f the tawdry, tasteless and utterly classless 2016 presidential campaign is remembered for anything, it will be its failure to deal with significant political issues that matter most to the American people. In a campaign marked by the anatomical revelations in Donald Trump’s abusive sex life, America’s weak economy is in danger of becoming a footnote. But as Trump dismisses a wave of angry complaints from women who say the real estate mogul forcibly groped them, insisting his taped remarks were nothing more than “locker room banter,” the stalled economy has been erased from the nation’s news headlines.
THE COMMERCE Department reports that the economy’s anemic growth rate has slowed to 1.4 percent. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that only 156,000 jobs were created last month. The Labor Department also revised its jobs numbers downward by 7,000 in the two previous months, while top economists say they expect the economy to barely grow by 1.6 percent this year, the worst GDP growth rate in five years. America’s economy is being held back because of “paltry business investment,” according to the Washington Post, restricted by anti-investment policies that have killed jobs and all but halted business expansion. The U.S. labor force, since February, has risen to little more than 60 percent — a pathetically low rate that hasn’t existed since the 1970s. This has led to growing criticism of the White House’s economic policies, including from one of Obama’s former chief economic advisers. “The specter of ... stagnation and inadequate economic growth on the one hand, and ascendant populism and global disintegration on the other, has caused widespread apprehension,” Larry Summers, former Treasury secretary under President Clinton, writes this week. “While recession does not impend in any major region, growth is expected at rates dangerously close to stall speed,” says Summers, who was also director of the White House National Economic Council and Obama’s chief economic adviser. “Few things will be as important to the success of the next president as the restoration of confidence.” But that’s not what the two majorparty candidates have been dealing with in recent weeks, nor what the nation’s major newspapers and nightly news shows have been reporting. The explosive 2005 videotape showing Trump bragging about sexual assault has blown just about every other
But this week his biggest issues on issue off the news. It was a new low, the stump were his attacks on Bill Clineven for Trump. “And when you’re a star, they let you ton’s sexual escapades in the 1990s, do it. You can do anything,” he is heard Hillary Clinton’s criticism of the womsaying over an open mike. But, wait, en in her husband’s life, and of course bashing the national news media and there’s more. Here in the nation’s capital, for ex- threatening to sue them. But does anyone really ample, are two recent headlines in the think these are the Washington Post: issues that trouble “Women acAmericans more cuse Trump of than a declining forcible gropeconomy, fewer ing and kissing.” (c) 2016, United Media Services jobs, a mushAnd this one: “As Trump runs for president, some see ‘all rooming national debt and another terrorist attack? too familiar’ traits of a dictator.” The disclosures about Clinton on the THE FORMER quotes women by nightly news and in the nation’s papers name who said they were victims of his continue to be about her hacked emails, sexual assaults. The latter referred to which have raised new questions about his remarks praising the world’s worst her closed-door speeches to major Wall dictators, saying that he admired Kim Street bankers that she has refused to Jong-un, the North Korean leader who make public. Clinton has been under relentless atkilled his uncle. “You’ve got to give him credit,” Trump said. “He goes in, tack by Trump for her free-trade positions, telling the voters one thing and he takes over, and he’s the boss.” Faced with the humiliating tape that powerful Wall Street bankers another. “My dream is a hemispheric comwas repeatedly played on TV news shows, you’d think Trump would want mon market, with open trade and open to change the subject and get back on borders,” she said in a speech that was first reported on BuzzFeed. That is track.
something she would never say at a labor union rally, or to any other audience, for that matter. But, if it’s possible, this election became even nastier in Sunday’s second debate in St. Louis, when Trump tried to steer the debate away from his sordid tapes and toward the issues that have dogged Clinton’s candidacy from day one: The classified material that she sent over an unsecured home email server, and the Americans who were killed in the fiery terrorist attack in Benghazi because she failed to provide them with the additional security they requested. When Clinton said it was “awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Trump shot back, “Because you’d be in jail.” A local TV news program here set up a “soapbox” on a busy street corner this week, asking passers-by what they thought of this election. “Nasty,” “demeaning” and “ugly” were some of the more frequent responses. I DON’T KNOW about you, but I’ll be glad when it’s over.
MEDIA BIAS: October 14, 2016
The media-Clinton collusion exposed
e once scoffed at the suggestion there was some form of a liberal media conspiracy against conservatives. Do liberals meet for breakfast and plan attacks on their ideological foes? Of course not, we’d answer. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s a mindset wherein what is liberal is good, and what is conservative is in opposition to what is good. Apparently it was a conspiracy after all. The latest emails emerging from WikiLeaks have brought in the evidence. There is an unquestionable collusion between “objective” journalists and the Clinton campaign. Leaked emails show that her operatives discuss which reporters were the most pliant recyclers of their narratives (they picked Maggie Haberman of the New York Times). But reporter Mark Leibovich — also from the Times — gave Clinton’s communications director, Jen Palmieri, veto power over quotes to be included in a Clinton profile in July. IT’S NOT JUST WikiLeaks that has provided numerous other examples documenting the inseparable nature of the Clinton-media relationship. What TMZ has reported on the Trump tape with the shameless sex banter is far more telling. An article published yesterday by TMZ
staff said: “Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us ... top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election. The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off.”
Bozell (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
IN THIS election, it’s now documented fact that “newsgathering” was not the goal of the architects of our top newspapers and newscasts. Rather, it was victory for the Democrats. It’s time these propagandists stop calling themselves the “news” media. They have lost credibility with the public as referees or watchdogs or anything remotely approaching objectivity. Their approval rating is at an all-time low, according to the latest Gallup Poll. That’s because their dishonest political aggression is at an all-time high. After Donald Trump half-joked during the second debate that with a differ-
ent Justice Department Clinton would be in jail, the media bigwigs ranted and wailed that Trump sounded like Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler or a garden-variety tin-pot dictator. But how on Earth do the media believe they have the right to pass judgment on these things, given their assault on the democratic process? This onslaught of timed and designed Republican-destroying stories — and the funereal tone that accompanies and magnifies it all — is a media conspiracy to end the election, and end it now. They want conventional wisdom to harden that Trump is toast. Next on the agenda: Take out the Republican majority in Congress. After smearing Bill Clinton’s female accusers for decades, denouncing them for trafficking in lies and tabloidish “toxic waste,” the New York Times is championing two women who accuse Trump of sexual harassment. Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told CNNMoney, “I think it is pretty evident this story falls clearly in the realm of public service journalism.” THIS IS because the partisan hacks like Baquet define a “public service” as anything that advances the liberal agenda. The fix is in. This isn’t a horse race. They’re beating a horse to death.
October 26, 2016 MEDIA BIAS: October 12, 2016
A casting call for another Anita Hill Donald Trump is the only hope to save America, so the media have gone to war to stop him. They don’t care about being exposed as lying, hypocritical swine — I’d describe them more fully, but it would require locker room talk. They’ll win the public back later. Right now, all that matters is stopping Trump. The same media that are pretending to consider the use of a bad word equivalent to rape don’t give a fig about real rape, real sexual assault, real wh-ing, even real homicide, depending on who did it.
JFK WAS AN STD-infected drug addict who cavorted with wh--es at the White House, but the media ferociously hid all this from the public, publishing fairy-tale versions of his presidency as “Camelot.” And what happened to the 11-year rule? Trump said the word “p-ssy” 11 years ago, in a secretly recorded conversation. Eleven years before Sen. Teddy Kennedy ran for president, he killed a girl — but he ran, not only without apology, but, indeed, as the Conscience of the Democratic Party. Throughout 2009, good, decent Americans who happened to oppose Obamacare were called the name of a gay sex act hundreds of times on TV — and that was just on MSNBC. CNN’s Anderson Cooper made the reference explicit when he giggled, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging.” Among the people using this sexual slur were distinguished members of Congress such as U.S. Sen. Robert
Trump said: “When you’re a star, Menendez and Rep. Barney Frank. they let you do it. You can do anything. Were they fit to hold office? Going way, way, way back to a few Grab ‘em by the p-ssy. You can do any weeks ago, the same media gasping of that. (Laughter.)” Journalists turned in horror at “p-ssy” sure didn’t mind this into “sexual assault” by being litmy being called a c-nt repeatedly on a eral on the “grab” part, non-figurative Comedy Central broadcast. And when I on the “you” part — and on the “they say “didn’t mind,” I mean they thought let you do it” part? Stone, cold deaf. If “they let you do it,” it’s not an asit was awesome. But saying “p-ssy” 11 years ago is sault. Like most of Trump’s bragging, his over the line. loutish boast was not intended to be Cut the crap, media. A few years ago, Sen. Al Fran- taken seriously, nor was it. Far from ping out his pencil ken joked on a Comedy Central roast w h i p and carefully taking about producer notes, Access HollyRob Reiner buttwood’s Billy Bush f--king his chillaughed. The gist dren. Does Hillary of what Trump think he’s fit to be (c) 2016, Ann Coulter was saying is that a U.S. senator? Is — hold onto your he fit enough for the Senate Committee on Environment hats! — women like to sleep with ceand Public Works, but not the Senate lebrities! I don’t know if you’ve heard that before. Finance Committee? At least we’re back to the media preNone of these were leaks of secretly recorded conversations — considered tending to care about sexual assault — a hanging offense in the Clinton years. until further notice. These vulgarities were intentionally, THIS IS THE same media that ran publicly broadcast by the same media that, today, pretend to need smelling interference for an actual sexual predator in the White House, ignoring Bill salts after hearing “p-ssy.” At least this new puritanical stan- Clinton’s serial pants-dropping, gropdard explains why rappers like Jay Z ing and raping for nearly a decade, are banned from the White House. Wait while gleefully vilifying his accusers, and would have been happy to contin— what? Perhaps realizing their Victorian ue if Bill Richardson had become presvirgin act wasn’t cutting it, the media ident. Clinton talking about p-ssy was turned to their Pretend We Don’t Un- one of his more dignified moments, derstand English method of argument, proudly attested to by his friend Verand claimed that Trump was confessing non Jordan in a nationally broadcast to having committed a “sexual assault!” interview with Mike Wallace.
In the pages of the New York Times, feminist icon Gloria Steinem announced the “one-free grope” rule, specially developed for the Clinton era. Former Time magazine correspondent Nina Burleigh said of Clinton, “I would be happy to give him a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.” Time magazine’s Margaret Carlson said Linda Tripp had “lost membership in the family of man” for secretly taperecording Monica Lewinsky. Tripp kept the recordings not for something so exalted as stopping Trump, but to protect herself from a charge of perjury. Even when the law began to close in on the horny hick — midway through the second term he won because of the media’s heroic self-censorship — the rest of us had to spend a year listening to liberals say “Guys like bl-w jobs,” “Everybody does it” and “Let’s move on.” When Clinton was credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, NBC strategically held the story — until a week after the Senate had voted in the rapist’s impeachment trial. All the public could do was helplessly sport “Free Lisa Myers” buttons, referring to the investigative reporter who got the interview. Explaining NBC’s incomprehensible decision to hold its own investigative report, Myers told Broaddrick: “The good news is you’re credible. The bad news is that you’re very credible.” At least NBC ran the story eventually. The name “Juanita Broaddrick” never crossed the lips of CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather. Asked by FNC’s Bill O’Reilly why he never got around to mentioning that the commander in chief was, more likely than not, a rapist, Rather said, “When the charge has something to do with somebody’s private sex life, I would prefer not to run any of it.” So according to our media, committing a rape is “somebody’s private sex life,” but using a bad word is rape. Poor Billy Bush has to be fired from NBC’s Today show so the media can pretend that Trump’s using bawdy language is a very, very serious offense. Meanwhile, Billy’s ex-president uncle and cousin openly fraternize with the rapist. The second President Bush calls Bill Clinton his “brother from another mother” and praises Clinton’s “character” — something even Clinton’s defenders never did with a straight face. NOW THE networks are holding casting calls for some loon willing to falsely accuse Trump of sexual assault, so they can hype it like the Duke lacrosse case, Mattress Girl and Rolling Stone’s fraternity rape. Unfortunately — for us, fortunately for the media — by the time the truth comes out, the election will be over.
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: October 13, 2016
Debate II: Donald Trump shows up
not, tawdry or not. And it got tense and sometimes downright nasty. Trump brought three of Bill Clinton’s accusers — Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. Right before the debate, Breitbart News aired an interview with the three women and a separate video of a trembling Broaddrick, who tearfully recounted her alleged rape by Bill Clinton and Hillary’s alleged verbal threat to Broaddrick to TRUMP PROMPTLY apologized keep quiet about it. Powerful stuff. Reand admitted to being embarrassed by portedly, Trump wanted the three accusthe things he said, but he attributed his ers to sit near Hillary Clinton durdebate, but the debate filthy remarks to “locker room” banter. ing the commission nixed it. When asked, he Trump also pointedly denied brought, and redoing the things ferred to during he bragged he did, the debate, the including grop(c) 2016, Creators Syndicate then-12-year-old ing women as he’d boasted on the tape. Assuming no alleged rape survivor, Kathy Shelton, woman comes forward to dispute his de- whose alleged rapist Hillary Clinton nial — and, so far, no one has — the air represented as a young lawyer in 1975. pretty much escaped from this “bomb- Shelton claims she still bears the psychoshell” within the first few minutes of the logical scars, not only from the rape but also from Clinton’s trashing of her chardebate. But the “Trump tape” and his defense acter. Clinton got the rape charges reallowed Trump to finally launch a full- duced to “unlawful fondling of a child,” throated attack on not only Bill Clin- which only carried a five-year sentence. ton’s sexual behavior and alleged sex The judge suspended four years and crimes but also on how Hillary Clinton allowed two months credit for time albesmirched, belittled and discredited ready served against the final year. TRUMP ALSO brought up that Clinher husband’s accusers. In defending himself, Trump went after both Bill and ton laughingly bragged about her sucHillary without having to reach for the cessful defense strategy — referring to issue and thus be accused of dragging the existence of an audiotape from the the election down a side road. Once the mid-1980s where Clinton laughed when tape came to light, Bill and Hillary’s discussing the crime lab and the accibehavior became fair game, like it or dental destruction of DNA evidence that he crass tape of Donald Trump speaking in vulgar terms about women and what he has supposedly done to them worked, ironically, in Trump’s favor during the second debate. It meant that more people tuned in for this debate than otherwise would have and saw Trump’s vastly superior performance compared with that of the first debate
could have tied her client to the crime of rape. She also said, “I had (my client) take a polygraph, which he passed,” and laughing, Clinton added, “which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” But now that this decades-old case has been brought up on this big stage, it will be hard, even for the largely pro-Clinton media, to avoid questioning her about it. And this was just the first 30 minutes of the town-hall-style debate. TRUMP CLEARLY did his homework and, unlike the first debate, came prepared. He gave a better defense of why he hasn’t turned over his tax returns and went on the offense, bringing up nearly every issue omitted or only brief-
ly brought up the first time, most notably Obamacare; illegal immigration; Hillary Clinton’s refusal to say “radical Islam;” and that top Clinton aide and confidant Sidney Blumenthal pushed what Clinton calls the “racist lie” that Obama was born in Kenya. Trump, this time, went after Clinton for calling his supporters a “basket of deplorables,” describing this as an example of the “hate” in Clinton’s heart. Trump also brought the topic back to the economy and the tepid recovery. They entered the stage without shaking hands, but did so when the debate concluded, possibly because the last question required them to name one good quality of their opponent. Clinton answered that Trump has good children, a reflection, she said, of their father. Trump described Clinton as a “fighter” who “doesn’t quit.” A side note: In a discussion about the immigration of Muslims to America, Clinton cited Muhammad Ali as an example of Muslims’ contributions to our society. In a recent email to me, Tim Shanahan, a friend of Ali’s for 40 years and author of a new Ali biography, said that in August 2015, he asked Ali whom he supported for president. Ali responded, “Trump.” Shanahan asked, “Why?” Ali said, “Controversy. He ain’t afraid of it.” It’s now on to debate No. 3. Recent polls — taken after the revelation of the Trump tape but before the second debate — show Clinton’s lead widening. And early post-debate polls show that many believe Clinton, not Trump, won the second debate. But since the second debate, another batch of WikiLeakshacked emails, to and from Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta, appear to show more collusion between the Clinton campaign and the media than even the most cynical could’ve imagined. THE ELECTION is less than a month away. Stay tuned.
October 26, 2016 CULTURAL DECLINE: October 14, 2016
The presidential candidates we deserve
onald Trump and Hillary Clinton are only an accurate reflection of our culture of vulgarity and hypocrisy. Both of them. They’re the candidates we asked for. The country may not deserve them, but we the people do.
TRUMP IS basically a reality star, whose wealth and celebrity as a business tycoon pushed him into the spotlight of the 24/7 world of television news and entertainment — that’s abetted and augmented by the internet. He rose to celebrity with a natural spontaneity, a comedic cruelty and a gift for getting others to reveal telling bits and pieces of their personalities under brutal crossexamination. He made the decisions for other people with consequences, often not happy ones, and his verdicts traveled
with the speed of light across a titillated glibness and ease that he dispatched would-be apprentices on his TV show. tweetdom. “You’re fired!” are the two harshest The result was not so much a coarsening words to hear in any workplace, but on of politics as a coarsening of audiences reality TV it’s merely sport. Instead of li- who found it entertaining to watch. Networks gave Trump exposure beons at the Colosseum, we get pained expressions on a cool screen and are enter- cause he gave them the ratings they macovet and treated him tained by the pain of others. The medium liciously more as an enternumbs the sensitainer than a politibilities by reduccian who happened ing responsibilto be running for ity and analysis to the office of leader melodrama. This (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate of the free world. is not “there but for the grace of God” but “There goes This is the new political realism: Sensathat loser, not me. Ha-ha.” Ratings soar. tionalism over substance, emotion over Television consistently blurs the line analysis, titillation over thoughtfulness, separating politics and entertainment, greed over the public good. and Trump emerges as the first fusion CLINTON’S RISE to power has candidate for president. He dispatched his opponents in the primaries with the been more circuitous, as is required of a
THE LEFT: October 18, 2016
The left and the masses: Part II
t is never easy to tell what people’s motives are. But, when the political left proclaims their devotion to improving the lives of others in general, and of the poor in particular, we can at least get some clues from the way they go about it. One of the first things the left does is take away the right of other people to make their own choices.
FOR EXAMPLE, under current California law, Hispanic school children cannot be taught in Spanish if their parents want them taught in English. Like parents in other immigrant groups before them, Hispanic parents tend to want their children to learn English, so that those children will have more opportunities when they become adults in an English-speaking country. But the left in general, and Hispanic activists in particular, have fought against leaving Hispanic parents with that choice. At the heart of the left’s vision of the world — and of themselves — is that they know better what is good for other people. This means that the left sees itself as having both a right and a duty to take away other people’s options. This issue was fought out 18 years ago, in a California referendum on socalled “bilingual education,” which in practice meant largely teaching Hispanic school children in Spanish. All the forces of political correctness, including the media and the educational establishment, argued in favor of teaching those children in Spanish, even when their parents wanted them taught in English. Despite a barrage of propaganda from the media and other organs of the left, a
majority of California voters sided with Hispanic parents, and passed a law forbidding schools from imposing Spanish on children whose parents wanted them taught in English. But the left never gives up on their pet notions. This year there is a new proposition on the California ballot — Proposition 58, very misleadingly phrased — that would take that choice away from parents, and let schools impose teaching in Spanish to Hispanic children, whether the parents want it or not.
Sowell (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
The Spanish language issue in the schools is just one example of the left’s vision, which applies to many other issues. THERE IS the same dogged resistance on the left to allowing black parents to choose to have their children educated in charter schools that are part of the public school system, but are not subject to all the bureaucratic rules that lead to such bad results in other public schools. Many years ago, in a debate on William F. Buckley’s program Firing Line, I was told by a left-wing lawyer that black parents without a good education themselves could not make wise choices for their children’s education. But hard evidence says otherwise. There are whole chains of charter schools, such as the KIPP (Knowledge
Is Power Program) schools and the Success Academy schools, where ghetto kids have academic achievements equal to those of children in affluent suburbs — and sometimes higher achievements. Many of these charter schools are located in the very same buildings in ghetto neighborhoods where children in the regular public schools are failing miserably. Black parents who enroll their children in charter schools have apparently made better choices than the know-it-alls on the left. Meanwhile, black children by the tens of thousands in New York alone are on waiting lists for charter schools because politicians, beholden to teachers’ unions for money and votes, fight against the expansion of charter schools. Not all charter schools are successful. But at least unsuccessful charter schools can be shut down, while other failing public schools keep right on failing. When it comes to crime and violence, the political left, including much of the media, are having a great time demonizing the police. Blacks are the biggest victims of the sharp upturn in murders that has followed. But, yet again, hard evidence carries very little weight when the left is feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake. THE ABSURDITY to which this kind of media frenzy about the police can lead is shown by the fact that a black policeman in Charlotte, North Carolina, shooting a black suspect who had a gun, has been blown up into a racial issue across the nation. Have we become so gullible that we are so easily manipulated and stampeded?
woman in a radically empowered feminist world. She envisioned rising to the top through marriage to a man she calculated would get there first. As his sidekick, she would follow in his footsteps, even at the price of personal public humiliation (and even if in heels). “Tough times make a monkey eat red pepper,” my father used to say. Clinton developed a tolerance for cayenne, habanero, serrano and even red-hot Bubba early on. When Bill Clinton cheated on her, first in Little Rock, Arkansas, and then in Washington, D.C., she dished out pepper of her own to the ladies, by scorning them as bimbos, trailer trash and looney tunes. If that meant reprise after Bill’s sexual offenses on national television, that was a small price to pay for a ticket to power. the sisterhood, which usually stands by women taken down by sexual predators and power brokers, saw Hillary Clinton as its best bet for the first woman in the White House. It was no great task to change its tune from a roaring defense of the vulnerable to something echoing the rap lyrics of the Broadway sensation Hamilton, like “I am not throwing away my shot.” Throwing Bill Clinton’s bimbos under the bus in the White House driveway was just a necessary power play. Feminism now steps up to a new stage. Women must break through the crass ceiling to get to the one of glass. They must fake shock at Trump’s lewdness in the way that Capt. Renault in Casablanca was “Shocked! Shocked!” to learn that gambling was going on in the casino at Rick’s cafe. But shock can be a hard sell when schlock dominates the market. The New Yorker magazine, the bible of culture and taste for the beautiful people, quoted Amy Schumer, one of Hillary Clinton’s celebrity supporters, telling audiences how my “p---- ... smells like a small barnyard animal ... a goat at a small petting zoo.” That’s just the language onstage. Offstage, in a roundtable discussion with other female comedians — indulging in bawdy banter that might embarrass the Donald — Schumer describes the sex romps in her movie, Trainwreck, in the crudest possible way. The ladies were joking, no doubt; it was a “private conversation,” after all. Not to be outdone by Schumer, Lena Dunham, who’s all-in for Clinton, boasts that on the set of Girls — her HBO sitcom that’s all the rage — “There’s not one guy on that show who hasn’t seen the inside of my vagina.” Then the raunch gets really raunchy. THE SIN OF hypocrisy, the theologians tell us, is the evil that walks invisible. Now that the medium has become the message, nothing remains invisible. The proof lies all about us.
THE LEFT: October 14, 2016
Anti-Catholics and elitist bigots for Hillary
ill Hillary Clinton clean out the nest of anti-Catholic bigots in her inner circle? Or is anti-Catholicism acceptable in her crowd? In a 2011 email on which Clinton campaign chief John Podesta was copied, John Halpin, a fellow at the Center for American Progress that Podesta founded, trashed Rupert Murdoch for raising his kids in a misogynist religion.
THE MOST “powerful elements” in the conservative movement are Catholic, railed Halpin: “It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backward gender relations ...” Clinton spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri agreed: “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they become evangelical.” “Excellent point,” replied Halpin. “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the he-- they are talking about.” What the pair is mocking here are both the faith decisions of the Murdoch family and traditional Catholic beliefs and social teaching. This is a pristine example of the anti-Catholicism that historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr., called “the deepestheld bias in the history of the American people.” In another email in this latest document dump from WikiLeaks, writes Ben Wolfgang of the Washington Times, Podesta and Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, mocked the Miss America pageant, because so many finalists are Southern girls and young women. Said Podesta, “Do you think it’s weird that of the 15 finalists in the Miss America, 10 came from the 11 states of the CSA?” The CSA would be the Confederate States of America. “Not at all,” says Tanden, “I would imagine the only people who watch it are from the confederacy and by now they know that so they’ve rigged the thing in their honor.” In another email, Podesta himself uses the sort of language liberals once said disqualified Nixon from staying on as president — regarding former Governor Bill Richardson. Podesta refers to him and other Hispanics whom he is trying to court for Clinton as “needy Latinos.” What these emails reveal is the sneering contempt of liberal elites for Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Southerners, and even Hispanics loy-
al to them. And the contents of these sentiment as a way to explain their emails correlate with the revealed big- frustrations.” Obama was saying that when smallotries of Hillary Clinton and Barack town Pennsylvanians fall behind, they Obama. In September, Clinton told a gather- blame others and revert to their Bibles, ing of rich contributors at a gay rights bigotries and guns. Yet Obama has never explained fundraiser in New York City: “[Y]ou could put half of Trump’s what caused him to sit content for 20 supporters into what I call the ‘basket years — and be married and have his ters baptized — in of deplorables.’ Right? The racist, sex- d a u g h the church of a rantist, homophobic, ing racist like Rev. xenophobic, IslaJeremiah Wright, maphobic — you who, at the time name it.” of 9/11, roared Responding (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate from his pulpit to the cheers and “God Da-- Amerlaughter, Clinton went on, “Now, some of those folks — ica!” What so attracted Barack Obama to they are irredeemable, but thankfully Rev. Wright’s bigotry? they are not America.” These latest emails confirm what we WHAT CLINTON said to the already knew. Our elites, who are forever charging LGBT partisans echoed what Obama told rich contributors in San Francisco others with “racism, sexism, homophoin 2008, who wondered why he was bia, xenophobia,” are steeped in their own bigotries — toward Southernnot doing better in Pennsylvania. “You go into these small towns in ers, conservatives, Middle Americans, Pennsylvania and ... the jobs have Evangelical Christians, and traditionbeen gone now for 25 years. ... And it’s alist Catholics — the “irredeemables.” Though the election is still a month not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy off, the campaign of 2016 has already toward people who aren’t like them or done irreparable damage to the Amerianti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade can establishment.
Its roots in the nation it purports to lead have been attenuated if not severed. It has shown the world a portrait of American democracy at its apex that approaches the repellent. Through the savagery of its attacks on those who have risen up against it, the establishment has stripped itself of all claim to be the moral leader of American society. Its moral authority is gone. Even if Clinton wins, it can no longer credibly speak for America. As for the national press corps — the Fourth Estate — it has been compromised, its credibility crippled, as some of the greatest of the press institutions have nakedly shilled for the regime candidate, while others have been exposed as propagandists or corrupt collaborators posturing as objective reporters. WHAT INSTITUTION in America today, besides the military, enjoys national respect? And if people do not respect the regime, if they believe it acts in its own cold interest rather than the nation’s, why should they respect or follow its leadership? We have entered uncharted waters.
OBAMA PRESIDENCY: October 14, 2016
Obama threatens war over hacking
f you thought the mischaracterization of the Benghazi attack was an underhanded way to influence the 2012 election, fasten your seat belt. President Obama has a new one up his sleeve. He is so desperate to stop Vladimir Putin from releasing Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails that Russia may have hacked that he is literally threatening a cyberwar against Russia if Moscow publishes them. Wait a minute.
NOW WE have the spectacle of a president threatening war to keep secret emails sent by his own secretary of state on an illegal private server. He does so, not in the interest of national security, but to stop Republicans from winning the election. Not since Henry Kissinger urged South Vietnam to reject Lyndon Johnson’s peace offer so Nixon could win in 1968 has there been so blatant an attempt to manipulate questions of war and peace to influence an election. In this column, I have warned repeatedly that I believe that Putin is about to release all of Clinton’s deleted emails through WikiLeaks. This release would be devastating. It would immediately rebut Clinton’s oft-
repeated claim that she did not endanger national security by using her private server for classified emails. Now, Russia might show up with all of the emails — with no redactions — proving that her server was, indeed, hacked and that our worst enemy got all of them. NOW, AS Election Day approaches, the evidence mounts that Putin may, in fact, release the 33,000 deleted emails. Democrats are blaming Russia for the hacks on former DNC Chair-
Morris (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
woman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and on campaign manager John Podesta. And, now, NBC News reports, “The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election. “Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say
the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wideranging ‘clandestine’ cyber operation designed to harass and ‘embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership.” Domestically, the Democrats are trying to spread the notion, through their media allies, that Trump and Putin are an item, despite the fact that it was Bill Clinton who got hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from Russian corporations, allegedly to get his wife to approve the sale of uranium to Moscow. Their hope is that the issue of hacking and of Russian intervention in the U.S. election will overshadow either the content of the deleted emails or the fact that they ended up in Russian hands. ARE THERE any lengths to which Obama won’t go to influence the election? And this brinksmanship with Russia comes at a time when Hillary Clinton is accusing Donald Trump of being trigger happy with nuclear weapons. Well, President Obama has just triggered the most serious confrontation with Russia since the Cuban missile crisis in order to win an election.
October 26, 2016 MEDIA BIAS: October 16, 2016
In 2016 Trump learns, a kiss is not just a kiss
es, it has come to this. The Women Say Donald Trump Touched New York Times reported on Them Inappropriately. What happened was wrong, but its front page Thursday that Donald Trump fondled a woman on an there’s something gratuitous about apairplane more than 30 years ago and plying 2016 standards for political kissed another woman on the mouth candidates to the actions of a 1980s against her wishes in 2005. I don’t think businessman. What will they do next I’ve ever been this ashamed of my pro- — report that Trump called someone a “negro?” fession. I don’t like Trump. I’m not voting Let me stipulate: I assume that the two women’s accusations are true, be- for Trump. But there are so many betcause they fit with what I’ve seen of ter reasons not to vote for Trump than how Trump treats women. But in this because of this pile-on. It started when age, proof is no longer a requirement — the Washington Post broke a story about all we know is that they told other peo- comments Trump had made on a hot ple. The women’s stories fit into a niche microphone — off air, but operative — Bush, then of Ac— the incidents aren’t so serious that to Billy cess Hollywood, a woman would about how he have made an oflikes to kiss womficial complaint en and grab their about them at privates. “When the time they oc(c) 2016, Creators Syndicate you’re a star,” curred. I am not defending such behavior. I just know Trump boasted, “they let you do it.” The that 30-plus years ago the working Post ran a fair story. Sometime after the world was a cad’s playground, where election, perhaps the voting public will many men felt it was their job to grab learn how NBC, which owned the video what they could and that a woman’s and employed Bush as a Today anchor job was to resist, but if she did, she was until last week, didn’t break the story no fun at all. That’s why Jessica Leeds sooner. The hot-mic story gave CNN’s Andidn’t file a complaint. She moved to another seat on the plane and later told derson Cooper a peg to say to Trump during the second presidential debate, friends about the creep in first class. “You bragged that you have sexually ANOTHER WOMAN told the assaulted women. Do you understand Times that Trump kissed her on the that?” Trump’s answer — that it was mouth when she introduced herself to just “locker room talk” — spawned a him in 2005. That’s right, he kissed her. series of indignant talking heads denyThe Times headline announced: Two ing that men ever talk like Trump in
locker rooms. And because Trump denied that he ever kissed a woman without consent, any information to the contrary rated the first page of the New York Times. Meg Greenfield, the late great Washington Post editorial page editor, once said, “If a politician murders his mother, the first response of the press or of his opponents will likely be not that it was a terrible thing to do, but rather that in a statement made six years before he had gone on record as being opposed to matricide.” Those were the good old days. At least matricide is a crime. TRUMP’S DENIAL, of course, invites more women to come forward —
and, sure enough, Friday brought more allegations of Trump behaving like, well, Bill Clinton. He who liveth by sensational news dies by the same sword. TV news loved Trump in the primary election; his willingness to say anything pumped ratings and propelled The Donald from seventh place in July to top dog. Now Trump sees the media engaging in a “coordinated and vicious attack.” There’s no need for coordination: One story produces a loud noise, then there’s a stampede. When Hillary Clinton is president, the same people will be scratching their heads and wondering why there is so much rancor in America. It will not occur to them that the media played a giant role in the country’s deep divisions by deciding which stories are important and which are not. Many voters, for example, want to see immigration law enforced, but to the national media, there are only two immigration stories: Immigration “reform” and Trump’s wall. I’d like to learn more about Hillary Clinton’s fondness, revealed thanks to WikiLeaks, for “open trade and open borders.” The WikiLeaks have received nominal attention, but nothing compared to Trump hitting on women. The election will end with absolutely no mandate on any issue except that Trump’s a jerk. WASHINGTON POST reportage on Trump’s questionable charitable foundation informed readers about what appears to be “self-dealing.” The Times has reported on the Clinton Foundation’s too cozy relations with Hillary Clinton’s State Department. There have been solid stories on Clinton’s six-figure speaking fees and Trump’s bankrupt Atlantic City casinos. There are multiple reasons not to vote for either major party candidate. But it wasn’t enough to expose Trump as a phony — they had to sell him as a sex offender.
CFPB: October 16, 2016
A judicial slap to a careless Congress
nother small step was taken volving “discrimination.” It does so by last week on the steep and whatever criteria it pleases, and imposes winding ascent back to con- penalties it deems appropriate. Until the court’s decision last week, stitutional norms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the nation’s the CFPB, unlike any federal institution second-most important court, did its created since 1789, was uniquely soverjudicial duty by reprimanding Congress eign: Its director was appointed by the for abandoning constitutional propriety. president for a five-year term — lonthe president’s — and The court declared unconstitutional ger than the director could the unprecedentbe removed by the ed independence president only “for that Congress cause.” That is, only conferred on the for “inefficiency, Consumer Finan(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group neglect of duty or cial Protection malfeasance,” not Bureau. This legal skirmish about one aspect of this one for reasons of policy. The court held that the CFPB is “untentacle of the administrative state may seem recondite and trivial. It concerns, constitutionally structured” because of however, two momentous matters. One its “novel agency structure.” There are is the integrity of the federal govern- several agencies that are controlled by ment’s Madisonian architecture. The bipartisan commissioners who can only other is something that not even the pre- be removed for cause, and they are descient James Madison could have antic- scribed as “independent” agencies as a ipated — Congress’ modern eagerness result. But they all have five members, chosen from both parties. The court has to diminish itself. just held, however, that as created by THE CFPB is empowered to “regu- Congress in the 2010 slapdash Doddlate the offering and provision of con- Frank legislation, the CFPB’s single disumer financial products or services.” rector “enjoys more unilateral authority Being able to define financial products, than any other officer in any of the three it can regulate almost everything touch- branches of the U.S. government, other ing finance, from mortgages to financial than the president.” advisers to retirement plans — even THE COURT’S ruling makes the car loans, although expressly forbidden to do so. Acting like a freewheel- director subject to presidential control ing little legislature, it concocts laws as through dismissal. Another important it improvises standards. It is authorized challenge to the CFPB’s operations, to “declare,” with scant congressional currently in a federal district court, guidance, certain business practices concerns Congress’ voluntary abandon“abusive,” “unfair,” “deceptive” or in- ment of its power of the purse: Dodd-
Frank, which was passed with the support of only three House Republicans and three Republican senators, says the CFPB’s funding shall be “determined by the director” and shall come not from congressional appropriations but from the Federal Reserve. Small wonder it spends lavishly on itself. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who while at Harvard Law School proposed the CFPB, insists it is “highly accountable” to Congress. The CFPB disagrees, having proclaimed that its funding from outside the appropriations process gives it “full independence” from Congress. When a member of the House Financial Services Committee asked CFPB Director Richard Cordray about his agency spending $215 million refurbishing a building with an assessed valuation of
$150 million, he, oozing disdain, dismissed the question: “Why does that matter to you?” Perhaps he should be forgiven for assuming that CFPB spending government money is none of Congress’ business, given that Congress has effectively said exactly that. Although Madison assumed that the government’s rival institutions would jealously defend their powers, he worried that the legislative branch would threaten the equilibrium of the checks and balances by “drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” Today, however, Congress is centrifugal rather than centripetal, expelling rather than concentrating power. A peculiarity of today’s politics is the disproportion between Democrats’ fervent desires to serve in Congress and their lackadaisical willingness to cede its powers. Democratic candidates, both incumbents and challengers, are fighting ferociously to remain on, or get to, Capitol Hill. One wonders: Why? Their party is doctrinally devoted to marginalizing the legislative branch in order to expand the discretion of the administrative state as an instrument of executive power. And the next president certainly will be impatient with Madison’s separation of powers. President Hillary Clinton will be because progressives since Woodrow Wilson have considered this system an anachronistic impediment to energetic government powered by an unconstrained executive. President Donald Trump will be anti-Madisonian because the system of checks and balances will impede the sweep of his unmediated fabulousness. THE CFPB’S progressive authoritarianism reflects, in the language of the Hudson Institute’s Christopher DeMuth, “regulatory insouciance” made possible by “legislative abnegation.” Both will continue until conservatism reappears.
October 26, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON: October 18, 2016
The nastiness of the Clinton campaign
emo to Hillary Clinton: Yessum, you may win this thing. I wouldn’t fall over in a state of cardiac arrest should that happen, given what the polls are saying. This, though history instructs mortals to be very, very careful when it comes to predicting lead-pipe cinches. But say you’re right. I mention merely that you and your cheerleaders are setting yourself up for a fall — in the Greek manner. How come? THE GREEKS talked of “hubris,” meaning overweening pride. We can pick up there: “Pick up,” I say, because America is wrapping up, at last, eight years unmatched in the presidential-
hubris department, overseen by the really into the classics today). They only president ever to know, in his emerge from various unpleasant facown opinion, everything worth know- tors involving the electorate: Anger, ing about the world. Signs are that fear, defeat, danger. Trump is more the celebrity candiAmerica may not welcome a second t h a n date par excellence; know-it-all presihe is the candidate dent determined with whom the to run roughshod discontented (not over the opposiall of them Retion. The fervor (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate publicans by any of the Donald means) have most Trump movement closely engaged. is one such sign. There is, sweeping the Clinton camp Beware your encouragers in the media; don’t get to thinking this race is (which includes the campaign itself about Donald Trump. It’s not. Major and its cheering section in the media) political candidates — like him or not, just now, a ghastly theme. It has two Trump is major — rarely emerge full- parts: The first is that Trump should be armored from the brow of Zeus (I am drummed out of the human race, not
THE LEFT: October 18, 2016
The left and the masses: Part III
laiming the role of champions of the masses is something the political left has been doing ever since there has been a political left — which is to say, ever since the late 18th century, when people with such views sat on the left side of the French National Assembly. Like so much that is claimed by the left, their compassion for the masses has seldom been subjected to any factual test. Both their words and their deeds reveal their low opinion of the people they claim to be championing. WHEN BARACK OBAMA referred to ordinary working people as people who are “bitter,” and who “cling to guns or religion,” that was not just a peculiarity of Obama. He was part of a centuries-long tradition on the left. No one so epitomized the 18th century left as Jean Jacques Rousseau, who likened the masses to “a stupid, pusillanimous invalid.” In the 19th century, Karl Marx said, “The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing” — in other words, millions of human beings mattered only if they carried out his vision. Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw included the working class among the “detestable” people who “have no right to live.” He added: “I should despair if I did not know that they will all die presently, and that there is no need on earth why they should be replaced by people like themselves.” It sounds very much like Hillary Clinton’s view of the “deplorables” who support her opponent, or Bill Clinton’s characterization of the same people as “standard rednecks.”
What role is there for the masses in the vision of the left? One role is to provide a moral basis for the left to claim power, as defenders of the downtrodden. No secular doctrine has so swept across the world so swiftly, and with such widespread political impact as Marxism in the 20th century. Its central premise is that the workers are poor because their employers have exploited them. That was not a hypothesis to be tested but an axiom to be accepted as sacred dogma. Nowhere in
Sowell (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
the three volumes of Marx’s classic Capital was there the slightest attempt to test that belief empirically. It would not be difficult to put the Marxian exploitation thesis to a test. If capitalists’ exploitation of the workers is what makes them poor, then in countries run by Marxists, the workers should have a higher standard of living than in countries with a capitalist economic system.
in compassion for others. For none of these assertions have they felt a need to offer hard evidence. Such evidence as exists contradicts those assertions. An empirical study titled Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks found that conservatives donate a higher percentage of their incomes to philanthropic causes, as well as more hours of their time as volunteers, and they donate far more blood. Another study showed that President Ronald Reagan donated a higher percentage of his income to philanthropic causes than such liberal icons as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Senator Ted Kennedy. What may be more remarkable than these findings is that the left was able to get away with asserting the opposite for years, without evidence being asked for or given. What is also remarkable is the extent to which the left’s preservation of their own self-flattering vision is defended at virtually all costs — with both facts and thoughts to the contrary being dismissed, rather than answered, using such words and phrases as “stereotypes,” “blaming the victim” or “racism.”
PEOPLE WITH a different vision of the world are not answered but BUT AMONG the many Commu- characterized — as people needing to nist countries that emerged around the have their consciousness raised or as world in the 20th century, there has not people who “just don’t get it.” The near-monopoly of the left in been a single one where the workers’ standard of living has been as high as academia allows such evasions to that of working people in the United pass muster. But it cheats students out of practice in confronting opposing States. The political left in general has views on innumerable subjects, which been able to claim that they have more they will have to do after they leave compassion for the less fortunate, and the insulated confines of academia. to depict their opponents as lacking
least on account of an unworthy tape made 11 years ago. The second part of the theme follows from the first: What kind of a dumb jerk would support a dumb jerk for president? Not a nice question. And it’s a pretty dangerous one, too, in the context of presidential politics. NASTINESS IS a poor governing technique. It breeds more hubris than before. And it makes existing problems harder to solve. Well! Hasn’t Trump been nasty — “Crooked Hillary” and all that? Indeed. But when this whole thing is done, and you, Hillary Clinton, assuming the correctness of your supposition, take the inaugural oath: What then? The large fact for which you can’t account, Madam Candidate, is that you’ve further divided an already divided country. It’s not just the woman-groper vote that’s been lost with your slams on Trump’s character; and the New York Times’ name-calling; and the obsession of the networks with details of Trump’s past; and the general feeling that Democrats “deplore” people unhappy with their lot in a world of mounting problems (many of them chargeable to government). No, it’s the Ordinary Folk vote the Clinton camp is losing: people who go to church; who marry and generally stay that way; who respect policemen and honor the flag; and who wonder whether the real dumb jerks are the politicians and activists who have decided it’s time to remake America — starting with a vote for Hillary Clinton (and by implication, Elizabeth Warren and Charles “Chuck” Schumer). Generally, the more friends you make during a campaign, the better off you are when the campaign’s over. Making enemies isn’t generally advised. (And isn’t that Trump’s specialty?) So ugly, so bombastic and dismissive is the Clinton campaign that the task of governing, once this is over, looks between hard and impossible: All the more so with Republicans likely to keep control of the House and possibly the Senate. Why am I telling you this? For the record, chiefly. I’m confident you won’t back off the denigration, ma’am. But you really should. If, as you think, you’re going to win, can’t you suggest ways to get at some of the grievances that brought us the Trump campaign, that sink the national spirit and hint at the coming imposition of federal control over all of life? NO? THOUGHT not. But there it is anyway.
IMMIGRATION: October 16, 2016
Globalists oppose legal immigration: But why?
s Dr. David Jeremiah stated: “[America’s] attitude towards immigrants is elegantly expressed in the words that are engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.” (The Bleeding of Our Borders; September 25, 2016) The inscription is a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus and the short poem ends with the words: “... Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” And as Dr. Jeremiah very succinctly stated, the words accurately sum up our nation’s attitude towards immigrants.
IT WAS EITHER in sixth grade or seventh grade that as students, we memorized this poignant prose and lo these many years later, the words still elicit a deep emotion pursuant to the solemnity of welcome and promise herein found upon America’s hallowed shores. My first experience with what those words meant, albeit I did not realize it at the time, was with my neighbor, Natasha I think her name was, who arrived as a little girl, from Hungary in 1956 or thereabouts. Some of the details are blurred as a consequence of time, but I remember vividly her showing me a stick with aluminum foil wrapped around one end. She told me that her grandfather had given it to her and that it was a magic wand that she could use to remember him. She spoke English and we attended elementary school together. But I digress. The words I referenced above essentially bids those longing for permanence with a future of freedom to come. The name we assign to such a person(s) is “immigrant.” Said assignation is defined as: “A person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) Inherent in that definition for those who seek permanent residence in America is the idea and I argue, the understanding, that said individuals come here through legal channels, pledge allegiance to America, take the requisite steps to become American citizens, adopt the English language, and assimilate to the American culture and system of jurisprudence, etc. That is the understanding that people immigrating legally and doing so with good intentions understand and ascribe to. America has never sealed her doors, but America has taken measured steps to ensure immigration isn’t detrimental to our nation. There were restrictions placed upon the number of un-
grants to come here and establish their own system of laws and governance. It is intentional historical dementia to postulate otherwise. The phrase E Pluribus Unum enshrined upon the “Seal of the United States” is translated “Out of many, NOWHERE ARE those who im- one.” This is not to dictate that traditions migrate here legally told they cannot worship according to the tenets of their peculiar to certain ethnicities are not It is, however, intended faith within reason, i.e., no ritualistic welcome. to mean that the people of killing of animals, no polygamy, etc. America unite as Specific to the Americans, not hyaforementioned, phenations. And nowhere was it our policy of imintimated nor was migration in no it the design for (c) 2016, Mychal Massie way provided for persons to come here and not assimilate. The idea that the supremacy of foreign ideologies people could come here and have their over our system of laws and goverreligion dictate the value and place of nance. I realize those who themselves sufall other faiths practiced in America was never intended, any more than our fer from historical schizophrenia and Founding Fathers intended for immi- who would like to pass a variant form skilled and illiterate. There were limits upon the number of well educated and skilled as well for the express purpose of making sure those immigrating here did not disaffect the citizens of America.
of historical dementia onto us will argue to the contrary. But that argument would incorrectly claim that our system of immigration hasn’t worked and that it hasn’t been fair to all wishing to become permanent residents in America. I AM SURE that those of my generation understand what I am saying, because we saw immigration work firsthand. With that thought in mind why are the globalists and neo-Leninists of this day and age so insistent that America become a dumping ground for the worst the world has to offer? Why are politicians and their handlers determined to end the supremacy of The United States of America, by turning same into what amounts to a third world country of warring tribes? And why would we support for any political office those who do not share the view I’ve just expressed?
LESLIE’S TRIVIA BITS: October 177, 2016
Leslie’s Trivia Bits
hen Christopher Columbus was cruising around the West Indies in 1492, he was impressed by the hanging beds used by the local Taino people. It’s possible that his diary entry for Oct. 17, 1492, was the first written mention of those woven cotton sling beds that were comfortable and portable, and kept sleeping people off the ground and away from critters and creepy crawlies that come out at night. The Taino called the beds hamacas, which is where we get the word hammock.
THE FIRST athlete to host Saturday Night Live was NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. He hosted on Jan. 29, 1977, a couple of weeks after his Minnesota Vikings lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI. Two common cross spiders (Araneus diadematus) named Anita and Arabella went into space with NASA astronauts on a Skylab mission in 1973. They were part of an experiment devised by Judith Miles, a high school student, to test whether weightlessness would affect a spider’s ability to spin a web. Both spiders spun webs in space once they’d acclimated to their extraterrestrial environment. After they died, their bodies were placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian. The term “cliffhanger” originated in the 1930s to describe serialized radio shows and silent films that ended at a critical moment — sometimes literally with the hero or heroine hanging from a cliff — to ensure audiences would tune
in for the next episode. Its first known use was in a 1931 issue of Variety, the film industry trade magazine known for popularizing the terms biopic, sitcom, and striptease, among many others. When Lord Horatio Nelson was shot and killed at the Battle of Trafalgar on Oct. 21, 1805, the naval surgeon aboard Nelson’s ship, HMS Victory, preserved the body by sealing it in a large cask of brandy. There it remained until it returned to England in December 1805. According to the surgeon’s report, when the cask was opened the “undecayed state [of the body] after a lapse of two months since death ... excited the surprise of all who beheld it.”
Elman (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
THE FIRST female police officer in the United States was Marie Owens, who joined the Chicago P.D. in the 1890s working primarily on abuses of child labor laws. She was, as the Chicago Tribune said, “the only woman detective sergeant in the world,” but she was just the first. Lola Greene Baldwin became a police officer in Portland, Oregon, in 1908. In 1910, Alice Stebbins Wells joined the Los Angeles Police Department. She received a badge, a rulebook and a first-aid manual, but she had to design and sew her own uniform. TRIVIA 1. The present-day name of what is-
land group comes from the Carib word for a marine crocodile? A) Antilles B) Bahamas C) Cayman Islands D) Hebrides 2. According to Norse mythology and comic books, Thor carries Mjolnir, which is what type of weapon? A) Hammer B) Spear C) Sword D) Whip 3. The Saturn V rocket was the launch vehicle for Skylab and which other NASA space program? A) Apollo B) Gemini C) Mercury D) Voyager 4. What makes the White Cliffs of Dover white? A) Agate B) Chalk C) Paint D) Quartz 5. Slivovitz is brandy distilled from what fruit? A) Apple B) Peach C) Pear D) Plum 6. Which of these was NOT an album by The Police? A) Argybargy B) Outlandos d’Amour C) Reggatta de Blanc D) Zenyatta Mondatta (answers on page 19)
October 26, 2016 2016 ELECTION: October 14, 2016
Only gridlock can save America now
hen Republicans lost the tail, debunking the idea that Congress presidential election back has enabled Obama’s agenda in toto — at the Republican Nation- a belief that is pervasive among Trump al Convention in July, many elected supporters. In reality, a GOP Congress GOPers feigned support for the Party’s spent eight years doing the opposite. doomed nominee in an effort to placate Not only did it block dozens of progrestiatives and reforms but the base and hold their majority in Con- sive inisued the president for gress. After watching Donald Trump’s it often abusing his execuAccess Hollywood tive power (and won tape (honestly, a host of cases). does anyone beThese presilieve this is the dential overreachlast, or most odi(c) 2016, Creators Syndicate es, incidentally, ous, of the October surprises?), some of these candi- were necessitated by the GOP’s effecdates have decided the gambit wasn’t tive “obstructionism” — which is just another way of describing the manifesworth it. So naturally, Trump has targeted tation of a divided nation’s will. Of course this Republican Congress down-ballot races in his own party — people like House Speaker Paul Ryan is infuriating. It often fails. It often and Sen. John McCain. As it turns out, folds. It creates unrealistic expectations. cult leaders are less concerned about the It struggles to find compelling argulong-term philosophical aims of your ments that appeal to its base. It picks political party than they are about your mediocre candidates and is often paralyzed by risk-aversion. personal loyalty and subservience. Yet it’s also true that an uncomBUT IF THE prospects of a Hillary promising legislative branch stymied Clinton presidency are truly as apoca- an uncompromising ideologue in the lyptic as I’m told, shouldn’t Republicans White House. I note the former with adbe appalled that their nominee is under- miration because, despite the assertions mining the only institution in Washing- of our political class, the most crucial ton, D.C., that has the power to stop her task of those elected to Congress isn’t to agenda, should he lose the race? After pass minimum-wage laws but to check all, it wasn’t Ryan who coaxed Trump the power of the executive branch. They did it better than most. into vulgarity on a hot mic. This time around, both of our bigI hear this absurd myth every day: “Well, what’s the difference? These government candidates deserve to grapcowardly Republicans have given Presi- ple with gridlock for the next four years. There’s simply no better antidote to the dent Obama everything he wanted!” Elsewhere, I’ve gone into great de- authoritarianism and corruption that has
infected our political causes. In fact, if Republicans somehow hold the Senate, they should also have the spine to preserve the even 4-4 split in the Supreme Court, to stop a potentially progressive judicial branch from further empowering the state. FOR THOSE who believe stopping runaway government is a political liability, remember that despite the incessant warnings from Democrats, the GOP was not punished for its obstinacy. It has won two wave elections and more than 900 state seats during the Obama years. Imagine what it could have done with competent leadership. Moreover, despite more incessant warnings about economic Armageddon,
the country did not collapse. Just ask Democrats — because these days they make the most persuasive case for obstruction. “Real hourly wages have grown faster over the current business cycle than in any cycle since the early 1970s,” Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, tells us. Thank you, gridlock! “Under Obama, stock market has tripled, returning an annualized 11.8 percent ex dividends,” says union bailout architect Steven Rattner on Twitter. OK. Thanks again, gridlock! For the past eight years, Congress has passed absolutely no new economic reforms. I know this because every liberal pundit, every liberal functionary, every elected official in the Democratic Party and virtually every editorial board in the country has argued that Republicans were engaged in an unprecedented obstruction of Obama’s agenda. Not long ago, Rattner claimed on MSNBC that Republicans had “blocked every single piece, virtually, of legislation that Obama put forward.” So, then, what exactly have Democrats done to make wages grow faster? What have they done to make stocks returns grow at such an impressive pace? They’ve done the best thing possible: Nothing. For some unfathomable reason, not only did Republicans decide to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton but they’re now cheering a nominee who is urging his fans to destroy that last safeguard. FROM A conservative perspective, surely, even a timid Congress is more useful than one that “fixes” Obamacare and overturns the Hyde Amendment and passes anti-gun legislation and revisits cap and trade and proposes dozens of other bills Republicans allegedly haven’t prevented. This is all going to happen if they lose. In the end, Trump won’t only lose the presidency; he will help Democrats create one-party rule.
October 26, 2016
Consequences of disregarding the Constitution
efore I attempt to make the country. In fact, the GOP caved on fundpoint of this week’s column, ing Planned Parenthood not once, but I want to be clear that in this twice — first, in the omnibus spending past election cycle, I have been firmly bill passed last year, and more recently on the side of conservative voters who last month when Democrats held up over are completely and utterly fed up with a billion dollars to help fight the Zika vinational Republican leadership. As has rus unless there was money for Planned already been discussed and dissected Parenthood in the spending bill. Again, congressional ad nauseum, after Republicans ran up Obamacare passed the white flag. without a single When pressed, Republican vote, the GOP says, the GOP begged (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate “We couldn’t pass voters to give anything, because them control of the House, which they received in 2010. And Obama would just veto it, and we don’t they did nothing. They explained that have enough votes to override a veto.” away by insisting that they needed con- So, the argument goes, if you just give trol of the Senate. Again, voters obliged. us a supermajority in the Senate, and (And this after a government shutdown the White House, then we’ll finally get in 2013 that our diligently Democrat me- something done. Uh-huh, sure. Voters would have fordia warned would produce a bloodbath for the GOP at the polls.) The 2014 elec- given Republicans for trying and failing, tions were a blowout in favor of Repub- but they have been unforgiving about the GOP not even having tried. Behind licans. the inertia and the excuses is the GOP’s WE WAITED for legislation ad- persistent timidity and fear of criticism dressing the national debt, illegal immi- by a press everyone already knows is gration, the disintegrating debacle that hostile. Therefore, to nearly everyone’s is Obamacare — something. Anything. shock and the GOP’s dismay, RepubliAaaannnnd — crickets. The only thing can voters chose the combative Donald the Republican-controlled Congress did J. Trump to be the Republican nominee. There’s not enough space here to outwas give President Obama the budgets he wanted. Former House Speaker John line the issues with Donald Trump as the Boehner was the first casualty, only to nominee, particularly after the embarbe replaced by Paul Ryan, who has done rassing revelations in the audio of Trump more of the same — including money for released last weekend. But the stupidity abortion providing Planned Parenthood, this is producing on all sides is mindthe bane of conservative voters across the boggling:
THE LEFT is playing their trusty hypocrisy card; the same people who said, “It’s just sex” when Bill Clinton engaged in incredibly vulgar conduct (not just speech) with a young intern in the Oval Office now purport to be outraged by nasty speech that took place 11 years ago. Many of the GOP are falling for it again, cutting and running. And this has inflamed voters’ ire even further. I noticed a day or so ago that my Twitter feed was suddenly filled with Trump supporters who were vowing not to vote for any other Republicans downticket. Some stated that they would refuse to cast votes. Others promised to vote for Democrats. They’re furious — as I said, I
get it. But this is insanity. You fight your own during the primary season — not during the general elections. I tried to point out the obvious. Best-case scenario: You elect your guy to the presidency, and then you saddle him with a Democrat-controlled Congress. This means his — and presumably your — agenda is dead in the water. Worst-case scenario: Hillary Clinton wins, and you have just helped give her the largest Democrat majority in Congress in a decade. This means that not only are you losing the executive branch and the legislature but also the judicial branch, as all of Hillary Clinton’s “progressive” Supreme Court appointments sail through without a hiccup. These seem peculiar ways to “punish” the pols you deem insufficiently loyal: By saddling yourselves and your fellow citizens with policies you deplore. That’s not cutting your nose off to spite your face; it’s blowing your brains out to show your hairstylist how crappy a job she did on your haircut. When I had the temerity to point out the limits on a president’s power, I unleashed a tweetstorm. “We don’t need a conservative SCOTUS,” one tweep wrote, “We only need Trump.” How does one answer this? Is the president going to single-handedly protect your First or Second Amendment rights? By what — executive order? To an extent, this is a consequence of President “I have a pen and a phone” Obama, and Democrats’ willingness to go along with his executive overreach. Among the perils of an imperial presidency is a creeping attitude that the only way to counter your guy’s disregard of the constitutional limits on his power, is to have my guy do it instead. FASTEN YOUR seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. October 13, 2016
This Week’s Conservative Focus
Which party will hold the Senate and House?
use politics and government to transform presidential and congressional candidates it should put a chill up the spine of any- have been closely aligned. The Repubone who thinks the Framers got it right licans are obviously not so aligned this with the First Amendment in banning the year. The fact that Trump hasn’t been enfederal government from prohibiting the dorsed by the men who won six of the past seven Republican nominations unfree exercise of religion. Mainstream (and other) media were derlines the point. Polling conducted between Sept. happy to give Trump lots of airtime in 6 (when the first debate the primaries, while the Clinton folks, we 2 was) and Oct. 12, aclearn, tried to macording to FiveThirnipulate the nomityEight’s Harry Ennation process in ten, shows Trump his favor. But the losing ground in First Amendment (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate all the 26 states guarantees a free press, not a fair one. Any Republican can- with Senate races being polled. But it didate has to expect unfair treatment, and also shows Republican candidates gainone vulnerable to damaging last-minute ing ground — some a little, some a lot — in 24 of the 26 states. The exceptions stories maybe shouldn’t run. So far, the evidence suggests that the are Illinois, where Republican incumbent effect of all this on down-ballot races is Mark Kirk has always been the underless than you might think. Americans dog, and Colorado. Senate races are relatively high-visibilHER ADVISERS’ contempt for the have been voting mostly straight party Roman Catholic faith and willingness to tickets for 20 years, as the major parties’ ity contests. Enten’s numbers show that hich party is going to control the House and hold a majority in the Senate in January 2017? Even if you regard the presidential contest as over — a proposition for which there is powerful evidence, including Donald Trump’s current campaign message choices — the answers to those questions are, respectively, mildly and very unclear. The Trump campaign has a legitimate gripe against mainstream media for their nonstop coverage of the groping charges against him and their downplaying — or complete blackout — of the WikiLeaks and other revelations about Hillary Clinton and her supporters inside and outside the Obama administration. Does she really, as she swore under oath, have no recollection of key facts about her email servers?
A new phase of our history
He also convinced Americans, many of whom were not even born in the late 1960s and ‘70s, that the sexual revolution was not so nice for some women. On Sunday before the debate, he reintroduced America to Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton, who were victims of the sexual excesses of the past. More specifically, three of them were among the scores of women who have been abused by Bill Clinton’s actions, not by the coarse words uttered by Trump in the back of a bus years ago. What makes Clinton’s actions all the more relevant is that his wife has enabled him for 40 years. Hillary Clinton did not walk out on him when he allegedly raped Broaddrick or fondled Willey in the White House or propositioned Jones or carried on such actions from the 1970s to the present. In many instances, she hired private investigators to hound these women, a matter I wrote LAST WEEK, an echo of Trump’s about here last week. former life came back to haunt him. Yet it was clearly an episode from his former life as an entertainer. Moreover, it was just talk, locker room banter, braggadocio uttered over a decade ago. In the (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate last few years Trump has been thinking WHEN BILL Clinton was caught about more important things. Now he is in the last stages of a presidential race. lying about not having sex with Monica Such language is unthinkable from him Lewinsky in the White House, Hillary today, and he has apologized for it. What Clinton sent her close aide, Sidney Bluhe talks about today is tax cuts, job cre- menthal, to vilify Lewinsky as a “stalker.” ation and securing America’s place in the When Blumenthal asked journalist Chrisworld. During the debate Sunday night he topher Hitchens to lie about this, Hitchens once again convinced voters of how seri- appeared before Congress and said that ous he is in this new phase of his life. He Blumenthal was lying. It began Hitchens’ fitful journey towards conservatism. won the debate. istory is full of surprises. While looking back on history, never have I found it to go precisely as I had anticipated. Always, the reality of history’s progress plays tricks on us. It now appears that the sexual revolution that began in the late 1960s is ending. Would it not be spectacular if one or two of its most famous products were done in by this historic turn of events? I am not talking about Donald Trump. I am talking about Hillary and Bill Clinton. They flourished in the sexual revolution and all the excesses and nihilism of the 1960s and ‘70s. Would it not be justice to see them unhorsed and abandoned as history takes a new path? “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” was Bill’s anthem in 1992. Well, we now have our tomorrow, and it is not what the Clintons expected. They anticipated an endless 1968, but history has played another surprise.
What struck me Sunday night when Trump sat with the Clintons’ victims is how the Clintons could have gotten away with this abuse of women in the 1990s. They and the mainstream media had no interest in these women’s stories or in any of the other women who threatened to come forward with their stories during Bill’s impeachment. Back then the widely accepted palliative of America’s elites was “it’s only sex.” Now, history has entered a new phase. Americans do not dismiss a woman when she complains of unwanted advances from a man, much less unwanted advances from a governor or president. And when his wife covers up for him, I think there will be consequences. Let us see how the events of last Sunday play out. My guess is they will be serious. I BELIEVE the charges against Hillary Clinton have attained a critical mass. All her lies, deceits and negligence captured by her high-tech server remind me of Bill Clinton’s DNA captured on Lewinsky’s blue dress. Both constitute high-tech evidence that the Clintons have been lying to America for decades, and furthermore that Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and incompetent. She should not have been secretary of state, and she will not be president. Trump’s focused presentation the other night contrasted starkly with Clinton. He beat her badly in the debate with very sound policies to her tired policies from the past. Now he has to beat her in the election. October 13, 2016
even as Trump’s chances have fallen, Republican Senate candidates have gained ground in key races in Wis. (where many had given up on incumbent Ron Johnson), Pa., N.H. and Nev. (the one possible Republican gain). His website rates the chances of Republicans limiting their net loss to three, which would guarantee their majority, as slightly under 50 percent. THERE’S NOT much publicly available polling in House races — aside from the two parties’ committees’ releases, which understandably are limited to those showing their side winning or doing better than expected. But information about district demographics provided by the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman helps identify districts where a Trump downdraft could cost Republicans seats. Of the 26 Republican seats Cook labels toss-ups or only leaning Republican, only eight have large pluralities of anti-Trump demographic groups — e.g., Latinos and white college grads — over non-college-educated whites, who lean toward him. And five have many more non-college-educated whites than college grads and Latinos combined. Republicans also stand to lose a net one or two seats because of mid-decade redistricting. And they have fewer targets — only seven Democratic seats are rated toss-ups or leaning by Cook — for offsetting gains. Wasserman forecasts the net Republican loss at 10 to 15, with Democrats needing 30 to make Nancy Pelosi speaker again. Paul Ryan’s widely reported conference call Oct. 10, the morning after the second presidential debate, gave approval to what had already been going on — disavowal, to varying degrees, by Republican House members in antiTrump-leaning districts. Some leading authorities, including Karl Rove and National Review Editor Rich Lowry, think it unwise to have gone public on this. Better to keep mum and let members do their thing. The problem with this is the one factor pollsters have trouble projecting — turnout. If voters believe that Hillary Clinton is sure to be elected, they might elect Republican senators and representatives as a check and balance. But some Republican-leaning voters might be so dismayed or disgusted as to not bother voting at all. Ryan’s message to them is that it still matters. TURNOUT HAS been declining, not increasing, during the Obama years, and the Clinton campaign is clearly worried about low turnout, especially among millennials. The Senate and House contests may turn on which side’s turnout sags most. October 18, 2016
DONALD TRUMP: October 14, 2016
Not the ‘locker room’ talk, the ‘Lock her up’ talk
Conservatives have relentlessly, and Nixon might well have been convictcorrectly, criticized this administration ed. But Ford understood that jailing for abusing its power and suborning a president for actions carried out in the civil administration (e.g., the IRS). the context of his official duties would Is the Republican response to do the threaten the very civil nature of democratic governance. same? What makes Trump’s promise to Wasn’t presidential overreach one her up all the more of the major charges against Obama by l o c k alarming is that it’s the anti-establishnot an isolated inment GOP candicident. This is not dates? Wasn’t the the first time he’s animating spirit insinuated usof the entire tea (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group ing the powers party movement of the presidenthe restoration of cy against political enemies. He has constitutional limits and restraints? threatened Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, ownIN AMERICA, we don’t persecute er of the Washington Post, for using political opponents. Which is why we the newspaper “as a tool for political retroactively honor Gerald Ford for his power against me and other people. ... TO WHICH list Trump added in pardon of Richard Nixon, for which, We can’t let him get away with it.” With exercising free political the second debate, and it had nothing to at the time, Ford was widely reviled. do with sex. It was his threat, if elected, It ultimately cost him the presidency. speech? to put Hillary Clinton in jail. After appointing a special prosecu2016 ELECTION: October 13, 2016 tor, of course. The niceties must be observed. First, a fair trial, then a proper hanging. The day after the debate at a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump responded to chants of “lock her up,” with “Lock her up is right.” Two days later, She wants a tax on sodas that ATR ot since George and Martha he told a rally in Lakeland, Florida, in the play Whose Afraid of estimates would add $2.16 per 12-pack. “She has to go to jail.” Virginia Woolf? or for older Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) charged this Such incendiary talk is an affront to readers Don Ameche and Frances Lang- would violate her pledge to protect the elementary democratic decency and a ford in the radio comedy The Bicker- middle class from tax hikes: “Frankly, I breach of the boundaries of American sons, have we seen the kind of verbal am very surprised that Secretary Clinpolitical discourse. In democracies, the pugilism practiced in Sunday night’s ton would support this regressive tax electoral process is a subtle and elabo- presidential debate between Donald after pledging not to raise taxes on anyrate substitute for combat, the age-old Trump and Hillary Clinton. one making less than $250,000. This way of settling struggles for power. But If the business of Trump’s lewd lan- proposal violates her pledge.” that sublimation only works if there is guage about women caught on tape 11 Other tax increases include a namutual agreement to accept both the years ago and Bill Clinton’s sexual his- tional gun tax of 25 percent, a 65 perlegitimacy of the result (which Trump tory with Hillary enabling him in the cent “death tax,” which ATR notes she keeps undermining with charges that trashing of his conquests could be set wouldn’t have to pay because of the very process is “rigged”) and the aside, only the issues would remain, and the way she has arranged her boundaries of the contest. wouldn’t that be good? The prize for the winner is temporary accession to limited political SUNDAY NIGHT, Clinton recycled power, not the satisfaction of vendet- the familiar Democrat playbook that tas. Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez and the wealthy aren’t paying their “fair (c) 2016, Tribune Media Services a cavalcade of two-bit caudillos lock share” in taxes, when the real issue is up their opponents. American leaders that government already receives record finances. She wants to raise the current don’t. amounts in tax money, but misspends capital gains tax from 23.8 percent to One doesn’t even talk like this. It much of it and never seems to have 43.4 percent, which would harm investtakes decades, centuries, to develop in- enough. ments and stifle capital creation. She grained norms of political restraint and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) would not lower the corporate tax rate, self-control. But they can be undone in has closely followed Clinton’s shifting which Trump has pledged to do, even short order by a demagogue feeding a tax positions. though the U.S. has one of the highest vengeful populism. In the debate, Clinton said she “only” corporate tax rates in the world, which This is not to say that the investiga- wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest has driven many businesses overseas. tion into the Clinton emails was not Americans, not the middle class. ATR And, like President Obama, she is an itself compromised by politics. FBI di- notes she has said just the opposite on enemy of the coal industry, despite her rector James Comey’s recommendation many occasions. It calculates that if claims to be friendly toward it in Sunnot to pursue charges was both trou- all of her tax proposals are enacted, it day’s debate. Her campaign chief, John bling and puzzling. And Barack Obama would cost taxpayers $1 trillion over 10 Podesta, has left the door open to a carvery improperly tilted the scales by in- years and gives the following examples: bon tax, saying if Congress passes such terjecting, while the investigation was She has said she would not veto a a measure “we’ll take a look at it.” still underway, that Clinton’s emails payroll tax hike on all Americans should had not endangered national security. TRUMP PURPORTS to favor such a bill reach her desk and would set But the answer is not to start a new aside her pledge not to boost taxes on school choice, which is an essential tool process whose outcome is preordained. middle-income earners. for escaping poverty and would do more he second presidential debate — bloody, muddy and raucous — was just enough to save Donald Trump’s campaign from extinction, but not enough to restore his chances of winning, barring an act of God (a medical calamity) or of Putin (a cosmically incriminating WikiLeak). That Trump crashed because of a sex-talk tape is odd. It should have been a surprise to no one. His views on women have been on open display for years. And he’d offered a dazzling array of other reasons for disqualification: Habitual mendacity, pathological narcissism, profound ignorance and an astonishing dearth of basic human empathy.
The Bickersons revisited
Trump has gone after others with equal subtlety. “I hear,” he tweeted, “the Rickets [sic] family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $’s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!” He also promises to “open up” libel laws to permit easier prosecution of those who attack him unfairly. Has he ever conceded any attack on him to be fair? THIS ELECTION is not just about placing the nuclear codes in Trump’s hands. It’s also about handing him the instruments of civilian coercion, such as the IRS, the FBI, the FCC, the SEC. Think of what he could do to enforce the “fairness” he demands. Imagine giving over the vast power of the modern state to a man who says in advance that he will punish his critics and jail his opponent.
than any federal anti-poverty program to help poor children obtain a good education. Hillary Clinton claims to favor school choice, but only as far as publicly funded charter schools. Since she and many Democrats receive political contributions from teachers unions, it’s unlikely she’ll let poor children escape failing schools. In the latest debate she tried to claim credit for all she has done for children, but what she has not done by refusing to support school vouchers, which allow parents to use public funds to pay for some or all of their child’s private school tuition, overcomes whatever good she may have accomplished. Rumors are swirling about opposition researchers offering to pay employees of Trump’s NBC program The Apprentice for recordings of other lewd things he might have said to further distract from the issues. The hypocrisy meter is in hyper drive when you consider that some of the same Democrats condemning Trump said of Bill Clinton’s numerous affairs “it’s just about sex” and had nothing to do with his performance as president. These are people who still hold John F. Kennedy in high regard, despite his long list of women with whom he had sex, including secreting some into the White House. THIS WON’T be the end of the revelations about Trump, anything to divert attention from Hillary’s real positions on the real issues that matter most to Americans. If we must have bickering, how about bickering over something important?
October 26, 2016 DEAR MARK: October 14, 2016
Hillary’s diversion, rednecks, college wimps DEAR MARK: Just when I think Donald Trump is making headway in the polls against the Hildebeast, a tape of Trump making vulgar comments about women comes out. Of course the media is running with the story 24/7 as if they’ve never heard that kind of talk before. Will this be the end of the election for Trump? — Quietly Concerned Dear Quietly: Donald Trump seems to bounce back from everything that has either been thrown at him or he has detonated himself. But time is beginning to run out and it appears that Team Hillary has latched onto a strategy that just might work, perhaps their “October surprise.” Hillary has discovered that Trump’s ego never backs down from personal attacks which actually keeps the negative press flowing. Knowing this, Team Hillary continues to parade out women claiming malfeasance from the “groping octopus” in order to divert from the real issues facing our country. The last thing Hillary wants to do is discuss the Obama economy or her foreign policy not to mention the WikiLeaks’ emails exposing the true Hillary. As one pundit put it, when Trump is talking about himself he loses; when he talks about Hillary he wins. It’s true that his comments were reprehensible but I do believe he has expressed proper contrition. What I find laughable is the media’s response to Trumps 11 year old hot mic comments. They are reporting on this story with their faux righteous indignation acting as if their little virgin ears have never heard such crude language. They recoil at how Trump supposedly objectifies women yet
conveniently forget about all the garbage produced by their friends in the music, movie and television industries. With that in mind, if Hillary is that offended by Trump’s remarks shouldn’t she return all of the campaign donations she has taken from her Hollywood friends? I didn’t think so. Then again this is the same Hillary who claims to fight for women yet whose foundation takes money from countries openly hostile to women.
Levy (c) 2016, Mark Levy
DEAR MARK: First Hillary called us deplorable now her idiot husband is calling us standard rednecks. Just because I support Donald Trump doesn’t mean I’m either of those. I’m in management in the software industry and have never hunted, fished or worn flannel. Liberals aren’t supposed to use a broad brush yet listen to those two. Why are the Clintons making these attacking statements? — White Collar Trash Dear Trash: The statements from the former first couple were not random thoughts gone astray but a calculated strategy straight from page 14 of the liberal playbook. “When losing on the issues try to demonize your opponent through broad negative remarks that are difficult to defend in short sound bites.” As far as Bill’s claim that he was a “standard redneck,” give me a break. He played saxophone in the marching band for Pete’s sake.
DEAR MARK: I can’t believe what I just read. The University of Florida will offer special counseling to students who are offended by Halloween costumes.The country that I love with all of my heart and soul is slowly becoming a country of weenies. Can this be real? — I Got a Rock Dear Rock: I apologize for doubting but I had to do some research because I didn’t believe your report could possibly be true. Sadly the University of Florida does indeed offer this type of counseling. Here are some highlights from the newsletter the administration sent out to reassure their fragile students. “Regardless of the intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes causing harm and offense to groups of people.” “If you are troubled by an incident please know that there are many resources available including a 24/7 counselor.” “Finally students are instructed to report any incidents to the Bias Education and Response Team.” I believe the proper response from university officials to the Florida students should be “College is to help prepare you for the real world. In the real world you will confront offensive scenarios almost daily. The only “safe spaces” are between your ears, in your heart and in your gut. If you are offended by a Halloween costume then you are doomed. Also please don’t tell anyone you graduated from the University of Florida.”
E-mail your questions to marklevy92@ aol.com. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkPLevy
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2016 ELECTION: October 18, 2016
Is the system really rigged? You betcha “Remember, it’s a rigged system. It’s media, Trump would be beating Hillary a rigged election,” said Donald Trump in by 15 points.” On this one, Newt is right. New Hampshire on Saturday. With all due respect, as adversaries, The stunned recoil in this city suggests this bunker buster went right down Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are not terthe chimney. As the French put it, “Il n’y ribly formidable. Big Media is the power tains the forces of gloa que la verite qui blesse.” It is only the that susbalism against those truth that hurts. of Americanism. In what sense is Is the system the system rigged? rigged? Ask yourConsider Big self. Media — the elite (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate For half a cencolumnists and tury, the U.S. Sucommentators, the dominant national press, and the national preme Court has systematically de-Chrisand cable networks, save FOX. Not in tianized and paganized American society this writer’s lifetime has there been such and declared abortion and homosexual blanket hatred and hostility of a presiden- marriage constitutional rights. Where did these unelected jurists get tial candidate of a major party. “So what?” They reply. “We have a the right to impose their views and values upon us, and remake America in their free press!” own secularist image? Was that really the BUT IN this election, Big Media have Court’s role in the Constitution? How did we wind up with an allburst out of the closet as an adjunct of the regime and the attack arm of the Clinton powerful judicial tyranny in a nation the campaign, aiming to bring Trump down. Founding Fathers created as a democratic Half a century ago, Theodore White republic? There are more than 11 million illewrote of the power and bias of the “adversary press” that sought to bring down gal immigrants here, with millions more coming. Yet the government consistently Richard Nixon. “The power of the press in America,” refuses to enforce the immigration laws wrote Teddy, “is a primordial one. It sets of the United States. the agenda of public discussion; and this WHY SHOULD those Americans sweeping power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will talk whose ancestors created, fought, bled and about and think about — an authority that died to preserve America not believe they in other nations is reserved for tyrants, and their children are being dispossessed of a country that was their patrimony — priests, parties and mandarins.” On ABC’s This Week, Newt Gingrich and without their consent? When did the country vote to convert volunteered on Sunday that, “without the unending one-sided assault of the news the America we grew up in into the Third
World country our descendants will inherit in 2042? In the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Congressional majority voted to end discrimination against black folks. When did we vote to institute pervasive discrimination against white folks, especially white males, with affirmative action, quotas and racial set-asides? Even in blue states like California, affirmative action is routinely rejected in statewide ballots. Yet it remains regime policy, embedded in the bureaucracy. In 2015, in the Democratic primaries, the big enthusiastic crowds were all for 75-year-old Socialist senator Bernie Sanders. We now know, thanks to leaked emails, that not only the superdelegates and the
Obama White House but a collaborationist press and the DNC were colluding to deny Sanders any chance at the nomination. The fix was in. Ask Sanders if he thinks the system is rigged. If there is an issue upon which Americans agree, it is that they want secure borders and an end to trade policies that have shipped abroad the jobs, and arrested the wages, of working Americans. Yet in a private speech that netted her $225,000 from Brazilian bankers, Hillary Clinton confided that she dreams of a “common market, with open trade and open borders” from Nome, Alaska, to Patagonia. That would mean the end of the USA as a unique, sovereign and independent nation. But the American press, whose survival depends upon the big ad dollars of transnational corporations, is more interested in old tapes of the Donald on the Howard Stern Show. As present, it appears that in 2017, we may get a government headed by Hillary Clinton, and an opposition headed by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Is that what the people were hoping for, working for, voting for in the primaries of 2016? Or is this what they were voting against? Big money and the media power of the establishment elites and the transnationals may well prevail. And if they do, Middle America — those who cling to their Bibles, bigotries and guns in Barack Obama’s depiction, those “deplorables” who are “racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic,” who are “not America” and are “irredeemable” in Hillary Clinton’s depiction — will have to accept the new regime. But that does not mean they must love it, like it or respect it. BECAUSE, IN the last analysis, yes, Virginia, the system is rigged.
October 26, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON: October 17, 2016
The insincere, arrogant Clinton campaign
the least, not the way to achieve sunshine in our politics or government, but it is illuminating insofar as it illustrates how progressives think and talk in private — i.e., about how you’d expect. The frank advocacy of open borders is now so radioactive that even the open-borders editorial page of the Wall Street Journal will no longer associate itself with it (once upon a time, the paper routinely called for an open-borders amendment to the U.S. Constitution). FOR THAT, it would have had to Talk of open borders has consequenbe present at one of her paid speeches tially retreated behind closed doors. In everyone so inclined at a major financial institution, in this p u b l i c , favors “comprecase the Brazilhensive immigraian bank Banco tion reform,” which Itau. In May 2013, always includes Clinton told her higher levels of audience at the (c) 2016, King Features Syndicate legal immigration bank, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with and fig-leaf enforcement measures, as a open trade and open borders.” Ding, step toward the unmentionable — and ding, ding — there’s the magic phrase, almost certainly unachievable — goal. in Hillary’s own words. A FAUX cosmopolitanism is a thread The excerpt from Hillary’s speech comes courtesy of the massive running through the WikiLeaks emails. WikiLeaks dump of pilfered emails — If you think Clinton aides root for terprobably by Russian hackers — from rorist acts not to be committed by Musthe account of Clinton campaign chair- lims, lest political and policy complicaman John Podesta. The hack is, to say tions ensue, you’re right. he website PolitiFact jumped all over Rudy Giuliani earlier this year when he said, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.” It spent about 700 words sifting through the evidence, and ended up rating the former New York City mayor’s claim “false.” Now we know that PolitiFact blew its call because it lacked access to the most important datum — Hillary Clinton’s real view.
Hillary aide Karen Finney sent John Podesta an email in December 2015 about the San Bernardino shooting. She wrote “da--,” and forwarded a tweet from MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes relating that one of the shooters was named Syed Farook. Podesta lamented that it wasn’t instead a journalist named Syed Farook reporting on a shooting by Chris Hayes, who has a much more convenient, Irish surname.
official correspondence belongs not to officials, but to the public. Yet she took the risk that classified documents could be hacked in order to maintain control. Then she claimed that she handed all of her work emails to the government. Not true. FBI Director James Comey later revealed the FBI found “thousands” of work emails not turned over to the State Department. The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed suit to learn more about Clinton’s emails. A federal judge ordered Clinton to respond to Judicial Watch questions in writing. On Thursday, Clinton’s attorneys filed her underoath responses. In answer to 25 questions about the emails, Clinton gave a variations on the theme that she did “not recall” at least 21 times and objected to 18 questions. When she answered, she provided no new insight.
If you think Clinton aides sneer at conservative Catholics and consider them retrograde, you’re right. John Halpin of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, formerly headed by Podesta, wrote his boss and Jennifer Palmieri in 2011 that conservatives are attracted to Catholicism for its “systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations.” Palmieri, now a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, chimed in that those on the right embrace Catholicism as “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion.” A certain highhandedness and bad faith pervades the entire Clinton campaign. Hillary Clinton was perfectly comfortable with the globe-trotting financiers throwing six-figure speaking fees at her, but then had to turn around and shovel boob bait for Bubba at her party’s inflamed left-wing activists, who hate those very financiers and their views on trade, among many other things. The Clinton campaign’s predicament was captured in microcosm by spokesman Brian Fallon. In September 2015, he worried about an op-ed attacking the Keystone Pipeline that, he notes, had already been extensively edited and re-edited. As secretary of state, Clinton had, reasonably enough, indicated she’d likely support the pipeline, and now she was coming out against it. Will her newly aggressive opposition, Fallon wondered, “be greeted cynically and perhaps as part of some manufactured attempt to project sincerity?”
IN JULY, Clinton complained to 60 Minutes that “there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else.” She is right. Most people couldn’t get away with deleting thousands of State Department emails. Clinton complains people don’t think she is honest or trustworthy, but really why did she do it? Alas, she cannot exactly recall.
YEAH, PROBABLY — like much of what she says and does. Such was Clinton’s manifest weakness in March 2016 that a friendly liberal columnist sent a worried email to John Podesta. “Right now,” the columnist warned, “I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump.” Sounds right. It always pays to be lucky, rather than good — or sincere.
HILLARY CLINTON: October 18, 2016
‘Hillary standard:’ Take the money
illary Clinton’s campaign team warns that damaging leaks of campaign staff emails — leaked via the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and probably hacked by Russia — are proof that Russia wants to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump. Be it noted Team Clinton had little trouble using registered agents for foreign governments to raise large donations for the presidential campaign. When the campaign decided to take money raised by lobbyists for foreign interests, campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in newly leaked email chain from 2015, “I’m ok just taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” “Take the money!!” communications director Jennifer Palmieri added. “The decision was a tricky one, according to the emails,” Politico reported, “in part because the campaign already was accepting help” from lobbyists for foreign nations. IN HILLARYLAND there are no walls. When she was secretary of state, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, also was on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation, which raised money from global interests, and the private consulting firm Teneo. The American people should have been Abedin’s only
consideration, but with multiple paychecks, she had to answer to more than one master, and she held the keys to Clinton’s calendar. Last week, WikiLeaks revealed that Clinton State Department senior aide Caitlin Klevorick gave special access to big Clinton Foundation donors eager to get in on the lucrative rebuilding after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. “Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” Klevorick wrote to the Foundation’s director of foreign policy. Foundation donors might expect concierge service, while those who didn’t give to the Clinton charity could be shunted to a large government website.
Saunders (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
WAS THIS arrangement best for the desperate people of Haiti? I truly doubt it. The very fact that Clinton set up a homebrew server to host her national security correspondence says it all. In her youth, Clinton worked on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate investigation. Surely she understood that
VISIONS: October 11, 2016
Visions and the spiritlessness of our age
lbert Speer, the technocratic master of Adolf Hitler’s war machine, busied himself churning out custom-made excuses for his war crimes as that conflict ground on to its bloody end. But what if, in his rush to misjudgment about himself and his motives, he had accidentally stumbled on a truth?
IF ONLY HE had had a good classical education, Herr Speer sighed, and had paid more attention to each citizen’s responsibility for what was being done in the name of We the People, the Reich!, he might have avoided his sad fate. Yes, he might have found himself a martyr to conviction in any case, but that conviction would have been based on something more worthwhile than his own self-promotion. Is it possible, in today’s shrunken little world of American politics, even to imagine such ideals? In the tiny universe bordered on the right by Donald Trump’s egotism and on the left by Hillary Clinton’s career-long history of dissembling, is there room at all for seriously weighing the merits and demerits of any course of action? Too many of us are reduced to being watchers, not actors. The worst of it is that, in the end, there is no end in sight. Of course there would be a modern word for this endless emotional boredom: Anomie, or the absence of any emotion at all. Depression, the shrinks call it, but it is something much more: a soul-sickness that doesn’t even recognize the existence of the soul. Consider German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s essay “On the Vanity of Existence.” He wrote, “we take no pleasure in existence except when we are striving after something — in which case distance and difficulties make our goal look as if it would satisfy us (an illusion that fades when we reach it) — or when engaged in purely intellectual activity, in which case we are really stepping out of life so as to regard it from outside, like spectators at a play. Even sensual pleasure itself consists of a continual striving and ceases as soon as the goal is reached.” (Yawn.) Has so much effort ever been made to prove that effort is in vain, and worse, a bore? Or as Ezra Pound put it in one of his ardent poems without ardor, “And round about there is a rabble of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor. They shall inherit the earth.” Why not just get rid of them up front and save them from existence, and ourselves from having to watch them struggle in it? Not valuing our own lives, how can we be expected to value the lives of those so far below us in the economic and social scale? Which is really the
Or as the Department of Health and Human Services, in language surely meant to disguise what it’s up to rather than reveal it, proposes an executive order forbidding state governments to touch federal money under Title X regulations “from using criteria in their selection of sub-recipients that are unreMUCH BETTER to just give up lated to the ability to deliver services to beneficiaries in an and succumb to the spiritlessness of p r o g r a m effective manner.” our age. Treat the All of which abstraction called sounds like phraslife as just anes poorly transother profit and lated from the Gerloss statement. (c) 2016, Tribune Media Services man, specifically Demand that outAlbert Speer’s in fits like Planned Parenthood have some moral justifica- his memoirs. And so the various states tion for abortion. Then ask only what in this ever fluid union would find themit would cost our own souls to collabo- selves forbidden to steer federal funds away from groups like Planned Parentrate in such an ungodly undertaking. essential question about abortion. It’s not as if God had created each of these souls, inviolable and untouchable, and that to destroy one of them is to destroy the whole world in which they live, breathe, see and experience life. Ignore the holy and we ignore all.
hood merely because what they do is morally abhorrent. Namely, performing abortions and trafficking in fetal tissue. It is hard, though not impossible, to imagine a worse combination of Washington-itis: A callous disregard for human life, more regulation with more overpaid regulators to carry out all these regulations, the rule of government rather than the rule of law, and the culture of death in general. THE WAGES of sin, it turns out, may not be death but eternal, meaningless, so-called life. Forgotten is the old inner knowledge that, if we but will it, it is no dream. But reality. Which is all too real if only we dare open our eyes, awaken from our coma and wrestle with the angel who’s been at our side the whole night long.
DISASTER RECOVERY: October 13, 2016
The best knowledge is local knowledge
s residents all along the Southeastern coast start to put their lives back together after a devastating visit by Hurricane Matthew, these communities will face unique challenges. Not surprisingly, the calls for billions of dollars in federal government aid are already coming out loud and clear. In states affected by storms, government is often thought of as the only answer to reconstruction. However, research on the aftermath of natural disasters reveals that more often than not, local residents are bettersuited to efficiently address these challenges than government on the local, state and federal levels.
EVEN IF the federal government could increase the funding to help these communities above and beyond the $5 billion available in FEMA’s disaster relief fund, the money would have to come from an omnibus bill passed by Congress in a lame-duck session, meaning it could be months before they receive an increase in funds. Even if Congress were to approve unlimited funds for rebuilding, it would most likely be surrounded by the type of bureaucracy that benefits a few while undermining true recovery of getting people back into their homes and communities. Take a recent investigation by PBS’ Frontline and NPR into flood insurance and aid distribution in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. They found that disaster victims’ flood insurance claims were systematically underpaid, while the insurance companies selected by the feds to handle these claims were busy finding ways to increase their
profits and limit payouts. Meanwhile, aid programs were slow to distribute funds while punishing homeowners with mountains of red tape and unqualified contractors, which ultimately prevented them from returning to their homes and communities. Brad Gair, a disaster recovery manager in New York, said during the Frontline episode: “Did we put a bunch of money out? Yes. Is everybody mad? Yes. Did people get what they needed to get back into a home? No.” These horrifying stories were unfortunately a repeat of previous governmental
de Rugy (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
responses to disasters — for example, after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Andrew. IN A RECENT book titled Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster, three of my colleagues at the Mercatus Center — Virgil Henry Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch and Laura E. Grube — explain in detail why we shouldn’t be surprised that governmental responses to disasters lead to high administrative overhead costs and little relief to those who need it the most. They also show how entrepreneurs, “conceived broadly as individuals who recognize and act on opportunities to promote social change,” end up filling this critical role. They reveal how in general, these entrepreneurs promote community recovery by providing necessary goods
and services and restoring and replacing disrupted social networks. The entrepreneurs also provide signals to indicate that a community is rebounding. These signals are essential to incentivize people and businesses to stay in the community or, in the event they deserted it during or after the hurricane, come back. Just as importantly, they argue that creating space for entrepreneurs to act after disasters is essential for promoting recovery and fostering resilient communities. They tell many uplifting stories of communities that didn’t wait for the various government agencies to rescue them and instead took matters into their own hands, finding ways to obtain funding, clean up and rebuild — which resulted in getting people back into their homes faster. Storr and his co-authors link the success of these local entrepreneurs to people’s knowledge of one another’s needs, which allows them to find creative ways to overcome adversity. As opposed to the top-down approach of a distant government bureaucracy, the best knowledge is local knowledge. Those who have lived and worked in these communities know them best and are paramount to revival. WHEN IT comes to the recovery after Hurricane Matthew, policymakers should remember that when social networks are broken by disasters, local knowledge is particularly powerful and holds an even bigger advantage over bureaucrats than usual, no matter how well-intentioned the public officials are. In fact, bureaucratic red tape will only cause more people more pain.
October 26, 2016 FREE PRESS: October 13, 2016
Can the media reveal stolen truths?
t seems that at every turn dur- injunction from U.S. District Judge ing this crazy presidential elec- Murray Gurfein, sitting in Manhattan, tion campaign — with its deeply barring the New York Times from pubflawed principal candidates (whom do lishing what Ellsberg had turned over you hate less?) — someone’s personal to Times reporters. Such an injunction, or professional computer records are known as a “prior restraint,” is exceedbeing hacked. First it was Hillary Clin- ingly rare in American legal history. ton’s emails that she had failed to surThis is so largely because render to the State of the sweeping lanDepartment. Then guage of the First it was a portion of Amendment — Donald Trump’s “Congress shall 1995 tax returns, make no law ... (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate showing a $916 abridging the million loss he claimed during boom freedom of speech, or of the press” — times. Then it was those Clinton emails as well as the values that underlie this again, this time showing her unacted- language. Those values are the governupon doubts about two of our Middle ment’s legal obligation to be accountEastern allies’ involvement in 9/11 and able to the public and the benefits to her revelation of some secrets about the freedom of open, wide, robust debate killing of Osama bin Laden. about the government — debate that is informed by truthful knowledge of what THE REASON we know about these the government has been doing. leaks is the common thread among them Those underlying values spring from — the willingness of the media to pub- the Framers’ recognition of the natural lish what was apparently stolen. Hence right to speak freely. The freedom of the question: Can the government hold speech and of the press had been asthe press liable — criminally or civilly saulted by the king during the Colonial — for the publication of known stolen era, and the Framers wrote a clear, direct materials that the public wants to know prohibition of such assaults in the initial about? In a word: No. amendment of the new Constitution. Here is the back story. Notwithstanding the First AmendWhen Daniel Ellsberg, an outside ment, Judge Gurfein accepted the govcontractor working in the Pentagon, ernment’s argument and found that stole a secret study of U.S. military in- palpable, grave and immediate danger volvement in Vietnam in 1971, which would come to national security if the revealed that President Lyndon Johnson Times were permitted to publish what had lied repeatedly to the public about Ellsberg had delivered. what his military advisers had told him, The Times appealed Judge Gurfein’s the Department of Justice secured an injunction, and that appeal made its way
to the Supreme Court. In a case that has come to be known as the Pentagon Papers case, the high court ruled that when the media obtains truthful documents that are of material interest to the public, the media is free to publish those documents, as well as commentary about them, without fear of criminal or civil liability. THE GOVERNMENT had argued to the Supreme Court — seriously — that “‘no law’ does not mean ‘no law’” when national security is at stake. Fortunately for human freedom and for the concept that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and means what it says, the court rejected that argument. It also rejected the government’s suggested methodology. The government argued that because Congress and the president had agreed to void a constitutional mandate — the First Amendment’s “no law” language — in deference to national security, the judiciary should follow. That methodology would have rejected 180 years of constitutional jurisprudence that taught that the whole purpose of an indepen-
dent judiciary is to say what the Constitution and the laws mean, notwithstanding what Congress and the president want. Were that not so, the courts would be rubber stamps. Moreover, the high court ruled, it matters not how the documents came into the possession of the media. The thief can always be prosecuted, as Ellsberg was, but not the media to which the thief delivers what he has stolen. In Ellsberg’s case, the charges against him were eventually dismissed because of FBI misconduct in pursuit of him — misconduct that infamously involved breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office looking for dirt on him. Since that case, the federal courts have uniformly followed the Pentagon Papers rule. Hence, much to the chagrin of the Obama administration, the media was free to publish Edward Snowden’s revelations about the ubiquitous and unconstitutional nature of government spying on Americans by the National Security Agency. The same is true for Trump’s tax returns and Clinton’s emails. Are these matters material to the public interest? Of course they are. In a free society — one in which we do not need a government permission slip to exercise our natural rights — all people enjoy a right to know if the government is spying on us in violation of the constitutionally protected and natural right to privacy. We also have a right to know about the financial shenanigans or uprightness and the honesty or dishonesty of those who seek the highest office in the land. That is particularly so in the 2016 campaign, in which Trump has argued that his business acumen makes him uniquely qualified to be president and Clinton has offered that her experiences as secretary of state would bring a unique asset to the Oval Office. EFFORTS TO silence the press or to punish it when it publishes inconvenient truths about the government or those who seek to lead it are not new, and the vigilance of the courts has been unabated. Thomas Jefferson — himself the victim of painful press publications — argued that in a free society, he’d prefer newspapers without a government to a government without newspapers. Would Clinton or Trump say that today?
HFCs: October 19, 2016
Washington’s war against your air conditioner
etween now and when they used in air conditioners and refrigeraface their final judgment, tors that depleted the ozone layer. The treaty worked. CFCs were reBarack Obama and John Kerry will never be forced to endure ex- placed with hydrofluorocarbons, which treme heat — because they will always do not deplete the ozone layer. But then, as John Kerry explained in be able to afford air conditioning. in New York last If they follow the standard pattern, a speech month, the Obama they are sure to get administration tarricher when they geted HFCs. leave public ofKerry conceded fice because they that since ratiserved in public (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate fication of the office. Montreal Protocol In a corollary pattern, people grow wealthy in and “nearly 100 of the most ozone-depletaround Washington, D.C., by taking — ing substances have been completely directly or indirectly — the tax money phased out. As a result, the hole in the other Americans must send to Washing- ozone layer is shrinking and on its way to full repair.” ton, D.C. “The bad news is that the substances THAT IS why the latest Census banned by the Montreal Protocol have Bureau data for median household in- been replaced by substances that cause comes by county shows that five of the a different kind of danger,” Kerry said. nation’s eight richest counties are sub- “HFCs may be safer for the ozone, but they are exceptionally potent drivers of urbs of Washington. It gets hot in those suburbs in sum- climate change itself, often thousands mer time, but the bureaucrats and poli- of times more potent than, for example, ticians and contractors who live there carbon dioxide.” On Saturday, in Rwanda, the Obama have air conditioning in their homes — even if they work for the Environmental administration and the other governments that are party to the Montreal Protection Agency. But if Obama and Kerry have their Protocol agreed to an “amendment” to way, you may not have it in yours some- the protocol that, as a White House “fact sheet” puts it, is designed “to cut the day. Twenty-eight years ago, the Senate production and consumption of HFCs ratified and President Reagan signed a by more than 80 percent over the next treaty called the Montreal Protocol on 30 years.” So, the Obama administration and its Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This treaty was designed to stop the global partners amended a treaty aimed use of chlorofluorocarbons, a coolant specifically at curbing the use of “sub-
stances that deplete the ozone layer” in order to specifically curb a substance that does not deplete the ozone layer. Why? They would risk making your house a hothouse to stop global warming. The amendment, the White House claims, “could avoid up to 0.5 degrees C of warming by the end of the century.” IT COULD also cause some people to avoid the future purchase of air conditioners — because they cannot afford them. “HFCs are used in numerous applications, including refrigeration and air conditioning,” notes the White House fact sheet.
A New York Times editorial this week applauded the amendment, which imposes a faster deadline on the United States than on China or India. “The richest countries, including the United States, will freeze production and consumption of HFCs by 2018,” said the Times editorial, “much of the rest of the world, including China, Brazil, and all of Africa, will do the same by 2024; and a few nations, including India, will have until 2028. “Several newer and less harmful refrigerants are available, although they may be more expensive in the short run,” opined the Times. A news story the Times ran last week, datelined Delhi, explained more fully why the amendment will make air conditioners more expensive. The story, which opened by describing an Indian family that had just managed to buy its first air conditioner, was headlined: “Accord May Push Air-Conditioning Out of India’s Reach.” It quoted Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. “The replacements [for HFCs] are more flammable and toxic,” Yurek told the Times. “So there is a need to make sure the equipment is better designed and maintained, a need to make sure that when it is installed, it is done correctly and safely. You need better-trained people to do all that, and that will be more expensive” Obama’s amendment to the Montreal Protocol is not just a change to a treaty that was ratified 28 years ago, it is a global tax on everyone who buys, or hopes to buy, an air conditioner. THE QUESTION now is whether the Republican-controlled Senate will let him impose this global tax on Americans or force him to submit it to the Senate for ratification — where anything short of a two-thirds vote would defeat it.
October 26, 2016 IRAQ: October 19, 2016
The slow build to the Battle of Mosul
n October 16, the Iraqi gov- supply lines in Western Europe prior to ernment officially declared D-Day deprived German ground units that offensive operations to of ammo and gas. retake the city of Mosul have officially Many planners interpret the term begun. The announcement was a politi- broadly. Tailoring supplies for a specifcal statement signaling moral determi- ic battle is a shaping operation. Gathnation, akin to saying “the die is cast.” ering intelligence is always a shaping Since the official government an- operation. nouncement, several Iraqi military Strengthening political relations leaders have attempted to curb expec- could be a vital shaping optations of quick eration. I think that victory. One Iraqi applies to Mosul. Kurd general said Bucking up Iraq’s the battle could fragile coalition take two months. government and (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate ISIS says Mosul reducing fricis the capital of its tion between the Caliphate and ISIS fighters will defend Baghdad government and the Iraqi it to the last. Kurdistan regional government were definitely political “shaping” operaMOSUL IS a case study of what mil- tions pursued by the U.S. and its antiitary planners call “battlefield shaping ISIS coalition. operations.” Battles fought to improve the prospects of subsequent battles are MILITARY OPERATIONS to “kinetic” shaping operations. Attack- drive ISIS from Mosul began in Januing enemy supply lines shapes opera- ary 2015. They were not decisive battions. The allied air strikes on German tles — not the Battle for Mosul — but
they were preparatory battles fought with the ultimate goal of re-taking the city. Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga militiamen fought those first battles. They drove ISIS fighters from several small villages to the north and west of Mosul. In the process they cut an ISIS supply line between Mosul and Syria. The Iraqi and U.S. governments indicated that the Iraqi Army would launch an offensive in April 2015 to take Mosul. In March 2015, the Iraqi Army, en route to Mosul, attacked the city of Tikrit. Tikrit was a slow battle of blood and rubble — house to house
DONALD TRUMP: October 14, 2016
A stain on our politics
would rather be writing about Bob Dylan’s surprising Nobel Prize in literature this week, a well-deserved acknowledgment of his contribution to modern culture. But that would entail ignoring the elephant in the room:The refusal of many in the Republican Party to admit they have nominated a man so unfit to be president he may well take the party down with him when he loses Nov. 8. I have been a proud Republican for more than three decades — but today I am ashamed of my party and its leadership.
DONALD TRUMP’S words are so despicable that many of them can’t be printed or uttered verbatim on national media. His actions are worse. He treats women like horseflesh he owns by virtue of his power and wealth. He feels entitled to walk into the dressing room of young women, even young girls in the Miss Teen USA contest, when they are undressing for one of “his” beauty pageants and brags about it on The Howard Stern Show. He gropes perfect strangers on airplanes, in hallways. He thrusts his tongue down the throat of a People magazine reporter while his pregnant wife, Melania, is upstairs at Mar-a-Lago, calls a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer a c--- and a b--- when she writes an article he doesn’t like. And when he is confronted, he denies everything and insults the accusers. “Look at her. I don’t think so,” he
says, as if he wouldn’t deign to assault anyone he rates less than a perfect “10” in the system he uses to judge women’s worth by their beauty. Do I believe the accusers? Yes, I do. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward so publicly. They may support Hillary Clinton — can you blame them? — but would they take on a man who is known for his intimidating lawsuits if this infor- m a tion were false? Their lives
Chavez (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
will be upended by their revelations. Trump claims that they are all lying and that he will release the evidence at the “appropriate time.” Yeah, right after he releases his tax returns. REPUBLICANS WHO continue to defend Trump always fall back on the defense that the Clintons have done worse. I have written thousands of words about Bill Clinton’s disgusting behavior and called on him to resign the presidency when the Monica Lewinsky story broke. But Bill Clinton is not running for president. I’ve criticized Hillary Clinton for her conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state, and I’ve suggested she and her family abandon all ties
to the foundation if she’s elected. I’ve criticized her private email servers and her mishandling of classified information. I haven’t blamed her personally for the deaths in Benghazi, any more than I would blame President Ronald Reagan, for whom I worked at the time, for the deaths of 241 Americans in the Beirut bombings in 1983. Terrorists were responsible for those deaths, not Secretary Clinton or President Reagan. But creating some moral equivalency between Donald Trump’s behavior and Hillary Clinton’s shows just how corrupted our politics have become. Partisanship should not blind us to words of unspeakable crudeness or acts of sexual aggression and assault. Conservatives have been at the forefront of warning that when we define deviancy down, we make acceptable what should be unacceptable, thus undermining morality. We know this in our hearts. We must stop making excuses on behalf of a man who has demonstrated from the very moment he descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy on June 16, 2015, to today that he is unfit by every measure to lead this great nation. THIS ELECTION and that portion of the electorate that supports Donald Trump shakes my faith in the future of conservatism and the Republican Party. I pray my party and my country can recover from this stain on our politics.
fighting, air strikes and suicide bomb attacks. The Iraqi Army took Tikrit in early April. ISIS decided to defend Mosul with an offensive. ISIS fighters seized the city of Ramadi in May 2015. ISIS hoped the offensive would send the message that the Iraqi Army’s expensive victory in Tikrit settled nothing. ISIS could strike at will. ISIS commanders thought they might once again shatter Iraqi Army morale and damage the political coalition. Baghdad and Washington decided that ISIS had to be driven from Iraq’s Anbar province (west of Baghdad). The Iraqi Army attacked Ramadi in Fall 2015. It wouldn’t gain full control of Ramadi until early 2016. Ramadi was a ruin. The Iraqi Army fought another slow battle in Fallujah, finally clearing the badly damaged city in May 2016. Mosul, however, was never quite on the backburner. Allied air strikes, Kurdish and Iraqi Army operations continued. Cutting off ISIS supplies was one goal. Securing positions for the drive into Mosul was another. U.S. and other anti-ISIS coalition members began supplying more than airpower. Boots hit the ground. Artillery units and the infantry to protect them joined advisers and communications experts. Ramadi and Fallujah were not training exercises, they were difficult battles. However, Iraqi commanders and coalition advisers used these battles to hone the urban combat skills taking Mosul will require. Yes, combat experience — turning volunteers into veterans — is a shaping operation. Over the last three months, some of the Iraqi Army units that were deployed in Anbar and units stationed elsewhere in the country moved into positions near Mosul — positions secured by prior battles. The Iraqi government wants to minimize civilian casualties. Mosul’s civilians are Iraqi citizens. ISIS fighters, however, have seeded Mosul with booby traps and mines. ISIS always uses civilians as “human shields” — hostages. THOUGH THE Battle of Mosul does not have a set timetable, it does have a definite objective: liberating the city from the apocalyptic tyranny of ISIS.
DONALD TRUMP: October 13, 2016
Evangelicals without standards on Trump Train Lanny Davis must be dizzy from the to try to seduce a married woman or, deja vu. as he put it, “move on her like a bi--h.” Davis was a stalwart defender of Bill According to Pence, “My running mate Clinton during the scandals of the 1990s. showed humility, showed what was in Little did he know that the excuses and his heart to the American people.” Acrationalizations made for Clinton then tually, Trump expressed the minimum would be repurposed by some of Clin- remorse possible. ton’s harshest and most moralistic critics When the tape first surfaced, Trump for a Republican presidential contender. gave a pro forma “if anyone was offendOne day, historians will puzzle over ed” apology and slammed Bill Clinton how a man representing the mores of a for saying far worse things debased celebrity to him on the golf culture became not course. It wasn’t unjust the nominee til hours later that his of the Republican aides extracted from Party, but the canhim a fuller apol(c) 2016, King Features Syndicate didate of the reliogy. gious right. After T h r o u g h o u T, the Access Hollywood tape emerged of Trump gave off a sense of underlyDonald Trump bragging about an act ing anger at being caught. Bill Clinton of attempted adultery and getting away sounded exactly the same way in the with groping women, representatives of 1990s when he could no longer deny his “values voters” jumped most eagerly to affair with Monica Lewinsky. Not surhis defense. prisingly, Trump was in Clinton’s camp back in the day. The mogul said at the IN A WEIRD and depressing year, time that Clinton’s conduct was no big this has to rank among the strangest and deal and — true to form — dismissed most dispiriting phenomena. The salt the women he preyed on as unattractive. has lost its savor as the price of a place Clinton’s defenders used to wheel out at the table on the Trump Train. the King David defense, and Trump supThe leading evangelical defender porters have resorted to it in recent days. of Trump is vice-presidential nominee The 10th-century B.C. king of the IsraMike Pence, who could sound like he’s elites indeed committed adultery, and in delivering a sermon when ordering a cup truly spectacular fashion. He impregnatof coffee. The first step in Pence’s highly ed Bathsheba and got her husband killed principled, faith-based testimonial for to avoid discovery. A hot mic in King Trump was to wait to see how he did in David’s court might have made Trump the second presidential debate — in case blush. But this story doesn’t end well Trump blew himself up and Pence had to — the consequence of David’s sin was craft a highly principled, faith-based exit deadly strife in his family and kingdom. from the ticket. The second step was to pretend as though a penitent Trump was THE OTHER common line of ClinHenry IV standing barefoot in the snow ton and Trump defenders is that we are begging forgiveness. all sinners. This is, of course, profoundly Pence said it takes a “big man to true. And people do change. But there is know when he is wrong.” As if it were a zero evidence that Trump has undergone difficult call whether Trump was wrong any transformation. He evidently still
doesn’t have the slightest inkling that Christians aren’t supposed to be vindictive, dishonest, insulting, bullying, greedy or boastful, among other things. The prominent evangelicals sticking by Trump believe that he would be better on the issues — especially Supreme Court nominees and religious liberty — than Hillary Clinton would be. This is a reasonable calculation, although very few Trump supporters can remain cleareyed about him. Most find
themselves defending the indefensible because forthrightly acknowledging all of Trump’s faults makes backing him so awkward. MEANWHILE, the Trump campaign sinks, more than anything else, from the character flaws of the candidate. It would be a perfect morality tale for the religious right — if so many of its leaders weren’t implicated in it.
DONALD TRUMP: October 19, 2016
Trump’s last stand
IN THE FIRST debate, Clinn the past week, the polls have shifted decisively against Don- ton demonstrated her recovery while ald Trump. Now, with his back to Trump pussyfooted, losing the contest the wall, he needs to win the last debate and giving Clinton back her lead. But as September waned and Ocwith a strong and tough exposition of Hillary Clinton’s flaws. Otherwise, he is tober started, the email issue dragged in for a defeat of Walter Mondale-like Clinton down again and Trump recovered from his debate performance proportions. to, at least, a tie. Let’s review the trajectory of the race moving up Then came so far to understand where we are. With Trump’s sexually the noise of the explicit audiotape biased media covon the weekend of erage, it is hard to Saturday, Oct. 8. figure out what is Polls suggest that really happening. (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate he dropped about If one listens to network channels, save Fox, or reads seven points by the time the second dePolitico, one gets the impression that bate started at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. Trump has been reeling from defeat to 9. But Trump got off the canvas and defeat and hasn’t gotten his act together. And, the gospel according to Trump is scored his own knockout by winning that he has gone from victory to victory the second debate that Sunday. The polls combined Trump’s fall in an endless upward trajectory. over the weekend with his recovery NEITHER VERSION is true. in the debate and began the week with Here’s what has really happened so far: Clinton ahead by a small margin. Then, in the past 10 days, as allegaComing off of the Democratic Contions of groping women have surfaced vention, Clinton was dominant. But then the FBI report and the alle- and Trump has handled them poorly, gations of bribery going on at the Clin- the race has got away from Trump. ton Foundation and the State Depart- Clinton has added to her lead at the pace of almost a point every two days. ment erased her lead. So, now Trump is behind by about Meanwhile, through the first three weeks of September, Trump stayed on five-seven points and needs to score a message, eliminated the off-the-cuff re- decisive knockout in the third debate. marks that had troubled his campaign, IT’S POSSIBLE. Donald Trump and moved up smartly in the polls. When Clinton almost collapsed at the has bested Hillary Clinton before and 9/11 ceremony, Trump took the lead as could do so again. Now is the time for speculations around her health domi- him to become unshackled and let her have it, or it’s curtains. nated the race.
October 26, 2016 DONALD TRUMP: October 18, 2016
In defense of pro-Trump Christians
here are many good conserva- against Trump that was published last tives who are Never-Trumpers, week in the important evangelical jourand there are many good con- nal World. Jacoby’s piece consisted of conservatives who will vote for Donald Trump. Eight months ago, I warned tained attacks on the moral credibility that conservatives must resist gratuitous and decency of pro-Trump Christians. hatred or they will destroy themselves He said: “Religious conservatives shed more effectively than the left ever could their principles, and thereby dismantled their influence. ... Buried under on its own. election wreckage I used the term “gratuitous hatred” the postwill be the moral because it is the credibility of the term Jews and religious right. ... Judaism use to (Their) hypocdescribe the rearisy ... is orders of son for one of the (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate magnitude worse greatest calamities of Jewish history: The destruction of the than the customary flip-flopping and Second Temple and the second Jewish sail-trimming of a presidential camstate. It wasn’t the Romans who Jewish paign.” Unlike Jacoby, World went out tradition blames; it was the Jews them- of its way to be gracious to those Chrisselves — for hating one another for no tians still voting for Trump, saying, “We also value those who still plan to vote good reason. for Trump so as to vote for the Supreme WHEN I read the Boston Globe Court.” But the private Trump comments on column “How the Religious Right Embraced Donald Trump and Lost its Moral groping women pushed World to call for Authority” by Jeff Jacoby, a man whose Trump to resign and for Christians to work I have long respected, gratuitous withdraw their support. It said, “If a perhatred came to mind. Just as there are son is unfaithful to his spouse, he’s also pro-Trump people who have expressed likely to be unfaithful to his country.” contempt for anti-Trump people since I HAVE heard this argument about the very beginning — as an early antiTrumper I can personally attest to this the alleged connection between marital (even though I wrote repeatedly that if infidelity and infidelity to one’s country Trump wins the nomination, I would my whole life. And it has been false my vote for him) — some Never-Trump whole life — as well as throughout hispeople now dismiss the decency and tory. There is no connection between moral credibility of conservatives vot- marital fidelity and fidelity to country. Were the unfaithful Lyndon B. Johnson ing for Trump. In light of this, I would like to re- and John F. Kennedy also unfaithful to spond to Jacoby and the editorial America?
Indeed, some of the world’s greatest leaders have been unfaithful to their wives. And some of the worst have been faithful. I wish there were a connection. Choices for leaders would then be much simpler. The only married candidates we would vote for are those we believe had never been unfaithful to their spouses. Jacoby and World must think God was pretty flawed in voting for King David. King David did much worse than privately boasting about women allowing him to grope them. He had a man killed so his adultery with the man’s wife would not be exposed. And while God was angry with David and punished him, God still maintained David as king and gave him a central role in Jewish history. If God shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting King David, Christians
shouldn’t be ashamed for supporting Donald Trump, given the far more corrupt and destructive alternative. The unfaithful argument does not do honor to those fine people who make the argument because telling the truth is also a divine command. World wrote, “To quote (Albert) Mohler (president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), we should not ‘allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.’” That means that World is for allowing another national disgrace — Hillary Clinton — to become president. Why wouldn’t that be a “Great Evangelical Embarrassment?” But they will respond that they are not for Clinton either. This is the only argument of antiTrump conservatives that drives me crazy — this vociferous denial that they are not for Clinton. Of course they aren’t for Clinton intellectually, emotionally or morally. But the voting booth does not assess intellect, emotions or morals; it only assesses votes. So no matter how much a Republican loathes Clinton, in depriving Trump of Republican votes, anti-Trump Republicans are helping Clinton win the presidency. In sum, a religious conservative can honorably support Trump just as honorable Christians supported Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler (and for the sake of those who enjoy mischaracterizing conservatives, I am, of course, not implying that Trump is Stalin, or that Clinton is Hitler — only that if Christians could ally themselves with Stalin to defeat a more dangerous foe, Christians could support Trump to defeat Clinton). THERE IS no defense for Donald Trump’s comments or alleged sexual misbehavior. But in terms of damage to America, there is no comparison between what he has said and allegedly done and what she has done and advocates for the future. Is acting on that realization un-Christian?
DONALD TRUMP: October 18, 2016
Donald Trump takes on the global elite
saw how that worked after then-Senator Obama promised in 2008 that he would “renegotiate NAFTA,” then renounced that pledge as soon as he moved into the White House. “The political establishment that is trying to stop us,” Trump continued, “is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry. It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories, and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world.” By an ironic coincidence, a few days before Trump’s speech, Britain’s FinanWITH THE understanding that his cial Times newspaper reported, “The movement is on the verge of becom- world’s economic elite spent this week ing a new party in America, Trump then invoking fears of the existential crisis unloaded a fierce attack on the corrupt facing globalization while avoiding leadership of both political parties. any mention of Donald Trump by “The Washington establishment, and name.” Bloomberg followed with a simthe financial and media corporations ilar story that “The emergence of Donthat fund it, exist for only one reason: ald Trump as a political force reflects a To protect and enrich itself. The estab- mood of growing discontent about imlishment has trillions of dollars at stake migration and globalization.” “The Clinton machine is at the center in this election.” “As an example, just one single trade of this power structure. We’ve seen this deal they’d like to pass involves trillions first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, of dollars, controlled by many coun- in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret tries, corporations and lobbyists.” We with international banks to plot the decandidate’s closing argument, or last speech before the election, can be revealing. Who can forget Obama’s ringing declaration that his victory in 2008 would be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal?” The speech that Donald Trump delivered last Thursday in West Palm Beach will be studied for years by political scientists trying to understand the Trump phenomenon. Regardless of the election outcome, there has never been a speech like it in American political history. Appearing before thousands of cheering supporters at the South Florida Fairgrounds, Trump began his address by defining his campaign as a movement: “Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment, with a new government controlled by you, the American people.”
struction of U.S. sovereignty in order to India. Tata gave money to the Clinton enrich these global financial powers, her Foundation, participated in the Clinton special interest friends and her donors.” Global Initiative, and Hillary declared “I am delighted to be the Senator from THAT WAS A reference to Hill- Punjab as well as from New York.” Trump then turned his attention to ary’s $225,000 speech to South American bankers on May 16, 2013. Hillary “the most powerful weapon deployed by told her appreciative audience that her the Clintons,” namely the press. “Let’s “dream” was to have completely “open be clear on one thing,” Trump contintrade and open borders” throughout the ued, “the corporate media in our country is a political special interest no differentire Western hemisphere. Hillary’s anti-Americanism includes ent than any lobbyist or other financial her record of favors for the outsourc- entity with a political agenda, and their ing firm Tata, which exploited the H-1B agenda is to elect crooked Hillary Clinvisa system to replace tens of thousands ton.” Trump reminded his supporters that of Americans with guest workers from they are part of a worldwide uprising against the globalist elite. “We’ve seen it in the United Kingdom, where they voted to liberate themselves from global government, global trade deals, and global immigration deals that have destroyed their sovereignty and have destroyed many of those nations.” “But the central base of world political power,” Trump said, “is right here in America, and it is our corrupt political establishment that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people. This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself.” “THE CORRUPT establishment knows that we are a great threat to their criminal enterprise,” Trump concluded.“They know that if we win their power is gone. But, it all depends on whether we let the corrupt media decide our future, or whether we let the American people decide our future.” John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.
October 26, 2016 2016 ELECTION: October 13, 2016
The question: To change, or not to change?
electoral votes as the new president. It direction. This creates an obstacle for comes down not to total popular votes, the presidential candidate on the same but who can win the swing states in play. ticket as the incumbent president. Usually, in open-seat elections (when For each candidate, the path to victory includes generating enthusiasm among the current president is not running) candidates focus on the voters who support you (to ensure b o t h their versions of a that they turn out positive agenda for and vote and enJackie America and the courage others to voters vote for the vote), while also candidate who best deflating the en(c) 2016, Creators Syndicate represents their thusiasm for those views or their hopes and dreams who support your opponent. So what’s the overall tenor of the for the country. Candidate Barack electorate? According to the RealClear- Obama did this in 2008 and connected Politics average, 64 percent of vot- to the majority of the voters when he THE QUESTION is: How will ers believe the country is going in the talked about “Hope” and “Change.” This year, the campaign is very difit end? It will end with the candidate wrong direction, while 30 percent bewho secures the greatest number of the lieve the country is going in the right ferent. The democratic nominee, forhe good news is that the presidential election is less than a month away. The bad news is that the onslaught of negative campaigning will continue until then. This past week, in conversations with friends and family, the one item that Democrats, Republicans and Independents can agree on is that we can’t wait for this election to be over and done. The daily coverage of personality and problems of both major presidential candidates is unrelenting, making the election feel as though it is never-ending. But end it will.
DONALD TRUMP: October 14, 2016
The war on women is back
t’s been nearly a week since the Access Hollywood tape helped to persuade key parts of the nation that Donald Trump might have a character problem. “Would you vote for a sexual predator?” asked New York Magazine. “Donald Trump Versus Hillary Clinton: Choose Your Sexual Predator” headlined the Federalist. Yet, while rumors are flying that other shoes remain to drop, only a few women have so far come forward with stories of loutish behavior by the Republican standard bearer. Natasha Stoynoff’s is the most disturbing. She alleges that she had visited Mar-a-Lago for a People magazine spread on Donald and Melania Trump (who was then pregnant). While Melania left the room to change her clothes for a photo shoot, Stoynoff recounts, Trump pushed her against the wall and “shoved his tongue down (her) throat.” He backed off only when the butler announced that his wife was returning. WHILE IT’S possible that many more women will come forward with similar accounts, my guess is that Trump’s actual gross conduct is probably some fraction of his claimed gross conduct. You have to apply the Trumpadjuster to every statement. Assume that 90 percent of what he claims — even when he’s boasting of unpardonable behavior — is false. Some of us have argued for the past year that Trump’s candidacy, and his presidency, if one were to transpire, would do incalculable damage to the Republican Party and to conservative ideas. We see one aspect of that mutilation playing out now. In 2012, Democrats invented the absurd “Republican war
on women” theme. It was so over the top that it began to fray and dissolve in 2014, when Sen. Mark Udall was mocked as “Mark Uterus” for overdoing it. He lost to Cory Gardner. But with Trump heading the Republican ticket, the war is on again. Nothing is too extreme to allege about Republicans now. Donald Trump lives down to every crude stereotype that the left has ever conjured about the right. If Clinton mad scientists attempting to create the only candidate she could defeat had concocted him in a laboratory, he could not be playing his role any better.
Charen (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
THE DAMAGE goes far beyond an electoral defeat. Conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, who have rallied to Trump have squandered their own integrity and tainted the reputation of conservatism. They signed on for all of this when they saluted smartly and, in effect, acknowledged that all that character talk about Bill Clinton was so much gas. Across America, college students are being instructed that “traditional” masculinity is to blame for the rape “crisis.” Young men are taught that, until feminism came along, their sex had been cruel and even criminal in its understanding of and treatment of women. The website MenCanStopRape, for example, seeks to “promote an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault and other forms of men’s violence against women.”
Conservatives saw the world differently. They argued that the sexual revolution had freed men from the responsibility to treat women respectfully. If sex was “no big deal,” then the old rules no longer applied and women were left more vulnerable. Traditional masculinity, while it may have had some disadvantages, also had its virtues. Men who were raised to be gentlemen, or whose religion required sexual restraint, attempted to live by a code. They didn’t always live up to their own standards, but they had standards. Gentlemen didn’t cheat at sports or cheat on their wives. There were lots of rules about how to behave with women. None of them included groping or unwanted touching. They didn’t use foul language in front of women or speak disparagingly about them behind their backs, either. They didn’t treat women as “pieces of a--,” to quote Donald Trump, or if they did, they didn’t boast about it. The sexual revolution was a project of the left, not the right. Yet the man who now represents the right is a pure product of the left’s cultural inheritance. Trump, a lifelong Democrat, learned about women, he told a friend (who recounted it to PBS’ Frontline), from Playboy. It shows. In fact, his critique of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was that Clinton did not choose a “really beautiful woman of sophistication.” TRUMP IS a user and abuser of people, not just women. But his disgusting behavior fits a narrative the left is spinning about sexuality and masculinity. He’s the poster boy for “toxic masculinity,” and every conservative who justifies or excuses him is digging the grave of conservatism even deeper.
mer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, are both focusing in large part on how terrible and unfit the opponent is to serve as president. THE LARGEST reason given by Trump voters for voting for him (28 percent), according to a recent Gallup poll, is that he is not Hillary Clinton. The top reason Clinton voters are for voting for her? “Qualifications/experience” (31 percent), closely followed by “negative assessment of opponent” (28 percent). Why are over a quarter of voters on both sides voting against a candidate rather than for a candidate? “Trump voters are most likely to cite their lack of trust in Clinton,” according to Gallup. “This is followed by their dislike of her, their determination to vote against her and their decision to vote for Trump as the ‘lesser of two evils.’ “Clinton voters are a bit more likely to give the ‘lesser of two evils’ response, followed by saying that they dislike Trump and that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president.” Party affiliation matters more to Democrats than to Republicans. Clinton voters are “twice as likely as Trump voters, 12 percent vs. six percent, to say their candidate’s party affiliation is the major factor in their decision,” noted Gallup. On the opposite side, Trump voters are twice as likely to cite issues or policy as the reason for voting for him (23 percent), while only 11 percent of Clinton supporters cite issues or policy as the reason they are voting for her. So what makes up the gap for Trump? Change. For those who support Trump, nine percent cite “change” as the reason they are voting for him. For Clinton, this category is zero. While not all polls clearly lay out the choices in front of the voters, this one did. For those voters who would prefer to keep things as they are in the country, Clinton is the candidate of choice. For those who would prefer “change,” the answer is Trump. The remaining question is who will turn out more supporters to vote: Clinton or Trump? Both candidates appear to have adopted a strategy of suppressing the voters of the other candidate. The thought behind the strategy seems to be, “While the voters might not vote for me, if they decide that they cannot vote for the other candidate, maybe they will not vote at all, and I’ll be able to win the majority of those who decide to vote.” THIS ELECTION, it’s about the less-worse choice. If Trump can focus on his theme of change, he might be able to generate the enthusiasm he needs to close the deal.
MEDIA BIAS: October 18, 2016
Modern journalists: Corruption and collusion
odern journalists have lit- stem the humanitarian crisis. But, in a tle in common with those paid speech for Goldman Sachs in June I was privileged to know 2013, she indicated she was skeptical when I was a copyboy at NBC News in about whether such a strategy would work. Washington in the ‘60s. “To have a no-fly zone,” she said Today’s “journalists” will disagree, “you have to take but as numerous surveys have shown, t h e n , out all of the air the public trust defense, many of in what is collecwhich are located tively called the in populated armedia has sunk eas, so our misto an all-time low. (c) 2016, Tribune Media Services siles, even if they Only the media are standoff misthink they don’t have to change and can continue to sell siles so we’re not putting our pilots at a product more and more people refuse risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention to buy. WikiLeaks dumps of Clinton cam- that people talk about so glibly becomes paign emails with reporters should con- an American and NATO involvement tain enough proof for any reasonable where you take a lot of civilians.” person that big media is in the tank for THERE IS much more, includher. ing private praise for Wall Street and IN WHAT may be unprecedented, big banks that paid her six figures for the New York Times allowed Hillary to speeches with little content, but public edit her own quotes. John Harwood, chief Washington MONOPOLIES: October 19, 2016 correspondent for CNBC, showered praise on Hillary in emails to her campaign chief John Podesta. Clinton staffers discussed which emails to release and which to delete. She has claimed the deleted emails f a person wants to go into busiwere personal, not work related. ness as a taxicab owner, what A Chapman University survey has requirements should be imposed found the top fear of American voters is to protect the public? The prospective corruption in government. If true, why taxicab owner should show that he is do so many intend to vote for Hillary, honest and can operate a vehicle safely. perhaps the most corrupt politician ever His vehicle should pass a safety inspecto seek the presidency? tion, and he should have a liability inThe WikiLeaks documents also ex- surance policy. Some cities require the pose Hillary’s private vs. public contra- purchase of an existing license, somedictory statements on several subjects. times called a medallion. A medallion The Washington Examiner reports has cost as much as over $1 million, these include transcripts of paid speech- as in the case of New York City, and es she has tried to keep secret. Three the cost has reached $700,000 in Bosyears ago, Hillary told an audience at ton and $360,000 in Chicago. There a luncheon for the Jewish United Fund is no public protection interest served of Metropolitan Chicago Vanguard that by forcing a person to go into debt to the flow of Syrian refugees into Jordan purchase a taxi medallion, but doing so had put Jordan’s security at risk. does serve an interest. About the thousands of Syrians pouring into Jordan, she said, “... they BEFORE WE talk about that, let’s can’t possibly vet all those refugees so look at some good news for prospective they don’t know if, you know, jihad- taxi owners. The Arlington, Virginiaists are coming in along with legitimate based Institute for Justice is a nonprofit refugees.” libertarian public interest law firm that She wants to increase the number has been on the forefront in the fight of Syrian refugees entering the U.S. for economic liberty for 2 1/2 decades. by many times the current rate. If they During that time period, it has piled up pose a security threat to Jordan, why numerous victories. The most recent is wouldn’t they pose a threat to America? its Oct. 7 win in the 7th U.S. Circuit Even FBI director James Comey says Court of Appeals, which issued two he can’t guarantee proper vetting for so groundbreaking decisions that will help many refugees and other immigrants, cities to sweep aside protectionist transmany of whom lack the most rudimen- portation regulations in order to make tary forms of identification and verifi- way for new entrepreneurs. able work history. The first case originated in MilwauDuring the second presidential de- kee, where Joe Sanfelippo Cabs, the bate, Hillary expressed support for a city’s largest taxicab operator in the no-fly zone over parts of Syria to help city, filed suit claiming that the city
criticism and promises to exert more government control over them if she is elected. In a West Palm Beach, Florida, speech last Thursday, Donald Trump honed his attack against the media, the establishment and the Clintons: “The establishment and their media neighbors wield control over this nation. ... Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, rapist, xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and your
The freedom to work
had violated both the U.S. Constitution and Wisconsin state law when it lifted a long-standing cap on the number of taxicabs it would allow to operate. Of course, Joe Sanfelippo Cabs wanted to keep the number of taxis limited so as to maintain monopoly power and gain monopoly wealth. The second case originated in Chicago, where incumbent taxicab operators sued the city
Williams (c) 2016, Creators Syndicate
for permitting ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate. The plaintiffs charged that because city officials did not go out and arrest Uber and Lyft drivers, taxicab owners’ rights under federal and state law were violated. WRITING FOR the court in the case that challenged Milwaukee’s removal of a cap on the number of taxicab medallions, Judge Richard Posner wrote: “The plaintiffs’ contention that the increased number of permits has taken property away from the plaintiffs without compensation, in violation of the constitutional protection of property, borders on the absurd. Property can take a variety of forms, some of them intangible, such as patents. But a taxi permit confers only a right to operate a taxicab (a right which, in Milwaukee, may be sold). It does not create a right to be an oligopolist, and thus confers no
family ... (and) your reputation. They will lie (and) do whatever is necessary. “The Clintons are criminals ... and the establishment that protects them has engaged in a massive cover-up of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power. Never in history have we seen such a cover-up as this.” HE’S RIGHT and this should be his line of attack in the third and final debate Wednesday night.
right to exclude others from operating taxis.” In the Chicago case, Judge Posner, who is very knowledgeable about economics, applied the great economist Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of “creative destruction.” He explained that Uber, Lyft and other companies that are wreaking destruction on the old taxi cartel are examples of companies engaging in a natural part of free market behavior. Posner wrote: “When new technologies, or new business methods, appear, a common result is the decline or even disappearance of the old. Were the old deemed to have a constitutional right to preclude the entry of the new into the markets of the old, economic progress might grind to a halt. Instead of taxis we might have horse and buggies; instead of the telephone, the telegraph; instead of computers, slide rules. Obsolescence would equal entitlement.” SOME CITY officials gain from taxi monopolies. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s against more taxis because of traffic congestion. However, it could be because New York’s taxi industry contributed more than $550,000 for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign. And whose side do you think black politicians and civil rights organizations are on, the side of incumbent taxi owners and taxi unions or the side of prospective taxi owners who have the physical means to get into the taxi business but not hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a medallion?
October 26, 2016 MEDIA BIAS: October 19, 2016
Debate depressive disorder: Enough already
ow many more broadcast bust- The promotional material left no quesups will it take before Ameri- tion about Ifill’s perspective. She hyped ca finally decides to make its Obama’s campaign as “stunning” and presidential election debates tolerable marveled at his “bold new path to politiagain? I can’t take it anymore. Can you? cal power.” She also used her access to For the past three cycles — 2008, author a hagiographic pop culture piece 2012, and 2016 — I’ve chronicled the for Essence magazine about the family. depressing, systemic bias of left-leaning O b a m a When asked to partisans whom respond to critithe Commission cism about her on Presidential ideological and fiDebates routinely nancial conflicts of installs as “mod(c) 2016, Creators Syndicate interest, Ifill acted erators.” It would be one thing if these activists posing as like a true-blue leftist and played the race journalists were upfront about their po- card. This year’s vice presidential debate litical preferences. But they continue to star in phony debate theater wearing their “moderator” didn’t fare much better. Billed as a “historic” choice because of dime-store costumes of objectivity. her Filipino heritage, Elaine Quijano was THE EVEN bigger farce? Masochis- a historic doormat for Clinton’s babbling tic Republican Party bosses let them get running mate, Tim Kaine. Her media cheerleaders, led by the New York Times’ away with it year after year after year. Note to President Obama: This is not Nick Kristof, naturally invoked the gen“whining.” This is truth-telling. I find it der card to defend her embarrassing pasrather rich that the complainer-in-chief sivity. Another “diversity” moderator, Telwho spent two terms incessantly attacking Fox News and conservative talk radio emundo celebrity journalist Maria Ceis now wagging his waggy-licious finger leste Arraras, known as “the Katie Couat anyone else who bears grievances ric of Spanish TV,” soaked up nearly half a CNN GOP primary debate earlier against hostile media and its enablers. In 2008, the Commission on Presiden- this year representing “the Latino comtial Debates allowed liberal PBS anchor munity” on issues such as Puerto Rico’s Gwen Ifill to serve as unfettered modera- bankruptcy. 2012, of course, was the year of Bitter tor for the sole vice presidential debate. As I reported at the time, Ifill had failed Candy — CNN’s Candy Crowley. She to disclose before the event that she had notoriously injected herself into the seca book coming out on Jan. 20, 2009 — ond debate (a town hall debate that was a date that just happens to coincide with supposed to spotlight citizens’ questions) the inauguration of the next president of by arguing with then-GOP nominee Mitt the United States — titled Breakthrough: Romney about Benghazi and running inPolitics and Race in the Age of Obama. terference for Obama.
Crowley was just the latest Democratic plant at a CNN-sponsored election debate. The network has a long history of passing off partisan operatives as “ordinary people” and “undecided voters” during town halls while failing to disclose their political affiliations to viewers. Moreover, there’s no telling how many CNN contributors are acting as moles for Democratic campaigns. We know of at least one. This week, CNN host Jake Tapper was forced to admit that a WikiLeaks-published email showing CNN contributor and DNC head Donna Brazile had tipped off the Clinton campaign in advance to town hall questions was “horrifying.” AND FOUR years ago, we also endured the spectacle of Clinton adviserturned-ABC newsman George Stephanopoulos pushing the Democrats’ “war
on women” propaganda by pressing Republicans on a nonsense contraceptive ban. Yet, the debate commission and the Republican National Committee keep drawing from the same tainted well of cloistered media personalities. Establishment journos Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC News were repeat moderators this year — with disastrous results. Raddatz, another leftwing PBS alumna and Beltway fixture, created her own bitter Candy moment at the second presidential debate last week when she lost her marbles over Syria and scrapped with Donald Trump over Syria. He was right to call the townhall charade a “one on three” battle. Actually, “one on three” is not quite accurate. As the Center for Public Integrity revealed this week, a whopping 96 percent of the nearly $400,000 in presidential campaign donations from “people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism” has gone to Hillary Clinton. Wham! There’s your fact-check of the year, my fellow journalists. I’m looking at you in particular, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza. Annoyed by mounting social media criticism of liberal reporters tilting their coverage, he tweeted this week: “Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.” Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. It’s the fuel that sustains the Fourth Estate’s undeserved superiority complex and monopoly over the debates. What would be so wrong with allowing open, transparent, informed partisan journalists from all sides of the political aisle a bite at the presidential debate apple? Abandon the pretenses. Put all the ideological cards on the table. Make the debates honest and tolerable again. THE PROBLEM isn’t the partisan press. It’s the poseur press.
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•NEWSPAPER• •DATED MATERIAL•
Postmaster: Timely Material Please deliver on or before 10/26/16 Periodicals Postage Paid Mailed 10/20/16
Read Laura Hollis, Michael Barone & R. Emmett Tyrrell on Pages 16-17
This week our CONSERVATIVE FOCUS is on:
Read Stephen Moore’s Column on Page 1
It’s More Than Trump Himself
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 • Volume 31, Number 43 • Hampton, Iowa