War is a terrible thing, as everyone who has ever been in one can testify, but war can tempt a president, and sometimes merely someone with the itch to be a president, as a way to burnish a warrior credential.
Taxes take a bite out of the economy, but regulations take a bigger one. Congress has surrendered much of its lawmaking authority to the president and a growing swarm of unelected bureaucrats, and regulations are growing faster than ever. The Obama administration thinks this is the way to run an economy. It’s actually the way to cripple it.Shares
Politics is a rough game. There’s no rule that says you can’t rough the passer or avoid making hits to the head. There’s not even a rule that says it’s unfair to take a dispassionate look at the record of a candidate who offers himself — or herself — for president of the United States. This includes a thorough baggage search.Shares
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was one of several Republican governors who agreed in 2013 to accept a grant of federal money under Obamacare to expand his state’s Medicaid services. The temporary grant of $2.6 billion, accepted over protests from his legislature, expires this year and Mr. Kasich now wants the legislature to approve taking more Obamacare subsidies to continue to pay for the expansion.Shares
Nothing is more tempting to television’s talking heads than exaggerating an approaching doomsday of blizzards, droughts, hurricanes, traffic jams, abortion rallies and other disasters, and nothing is riskier for politicians. What was hyped as the Great Blizzard of ‘15 turned out to be the Usual Snowfall of ‘15, and now the politicians are squirming under an avalanche of second-guessing.Shares
The key to economic growth isn't culture, access to the just exploitation of natural resources or even religion. Property rights trump all. The recognition and respect for property rights, and the expansion of property rights to the poor and unprivileged, is crucial to improving the living standard in developing countries.
Terrorists can only defeat America if Americans let themselves be terrorized. With an otherwise meaningless movie in play — wit and humor at the level of "The Three Stooges" — the terrorists have won. Well, Hollywood was built on hyperbole like that. It's important to keep in mind, however, that America was not a combatant in this war, though it took collateral damage.
New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after considerable dithering, finally did what everyone assumed he would. He banned fracking and gave up the bounty lying beneath his state. He sides with the radical environmentalists of the Democratic Party against the interests of his 19 million constituents, wasting an opportunity to fire up the rusty economic engine of high-tax, slow-growth New York. So much for the Empire State's boastful claim that "New York is open for business."
In a rare triumph this week for judicial restraint, a federal appeals court in Boston overturned a lower-court ruling, telling the state of Massachusetts that it doesn't have to pay for reassigning a prisoner's sex — or "gender," as the excessively delicate insist. (Nobody ever called Marilyn Monroe a genderpot.)
Human decency died in Pakistan. Islamic extremists wielding weapons of mass hatred had forfeited any shred of respect from decent men and women everywhere, but the massacre of children in Peshawar sets them apart from the merely evil. They are monsters, pure and simple, and any hand of peace should be withdrawn.
Sen. Marco Rubio calls President Obama's remarkable gift to the Castro brothers, and agreement to "normalize" American relations with Cuba, the work of a "willfully ignorant" man. We hope so. Ignorance can be corrected. Perhaps, to put the most generous face on it, this deal originated in the bowels of White House incompetence that is the mark of this administration. But Mr. Obama may not be ignorant at all, willful or otherwise, but proceeding skillfully to radicalize America's place in the world to fit the wishes and dreams of the determined and radical left from which the president sprang.
Ted Cruz is a brave conservative who, unlike some of his fellows, does not quail at the sound of the guns. He sets an example others could emulate. His tenacity, both at the grass roots where he has many friends and in Washington where he seems to have few, gives the conservative coalition a much-needed shot of testosterone in its flabby arm. His stand-up attitude is particularly valuable as Democrats try to figure out who they are and who they want to be in the wake of the thumping they took in November.
Someone stole Christmas in Europe, and it wasn't the Grinch. There's something missing, and it isn't just the snow. Shops dependent on tourists are praying, so to speak, that the unseasonably warm weather will give way in time for a white Christmas, but the Continent's secular obsessions have put a chill on the premier Christian holy day. The Christmas spirit in much of the old country is only what you drink.
John and Lisa Henderson of Hurricane, Utah, finally had enough. Their three sons — ages 11, 8 and 5 — seemed ungrateful for their good life. It's a common plaint of parents in a land of plenty that sometimes seems to be the land of too much.
Not every pinata provision in the spending bill is bad. The Republicans attached a rider to the measure expressing disapproval of the attempt to legalize recreational marijuana. It's a signal of more to come.
Liberal hypocrisy in Hollywood? Malice in Tinseltown? Pettiness among the stars? "Say it ain't so, Joe." Oscar Levant, the movietown piano player with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue ("I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin") once offered a hopeful analysis of what's wrong with the town: "Hollywood is made of tinsel, but if you get beneath the tinsel you'll find the real tinsel." The hackers of Sony Pictures took the challenge, and have revealed the details of the malice, pettiness and tinsel in purloined emails, and La-La Land is beside itself with fear, loathing and mortification.
The Republican establishment, which gets so many things wrong, is trying to manipulate the party rules to make sure it gets the presidential candidate it wants in 2016. The party chiefs put it another way, of course: They're just trying to make sure that the party nominates a "respectable" candidate who won't be mortally wounded before it's time to fight Democrats. Some of what Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wants to put into place makes sense, but many of the suggestions from other quarters don't.
Nancy Pelosi is finished as speaker of the House — as in gone, finished, kaput. But the lady's famous assurance that Congress would have to enact Obamacare to see what was in it continues as the guiding spirit of this Congress. The congressional leaders negotiating the "cromnibus" were so determined to avoid a government shutdown that they were determined to let their colleagues be surprised by what they voted for.
The corruption of the Internal Revenue Service is still under investigation, but the public has learned a lot already: The IRS targeted conservative and tea party groups for extra scrutiny and harassment, Lois G. Lerner tried to hide behind the Fifth Amendment to avoid prosecution for violating the rights of taxpayers, and the president of the United States assured one and all that there was not even a "smidgen of corruption" at the agency when he knew better.
It takes strength, courage and resolve on the part of young men to play football. Sometimes it requires even more strength, courage and resolve on the part of college and university administrators not to play football.
These are definitely not the glory days of the American space program, but we should be thankful that, as Daniel Webster said of Dartmouth College, "there are those who love it." While many were busy protesting and rioting this week, mourning young black men shot by policemen by lying down in front of passenger trains, scientists at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory turned their attention to a quieter and saner world.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday released the results of the long anticipated investigation into the CIA's detentions and interrogation techniques in the prosecution of the "war" on Islamic terrorism, and there's something in it for nearly everyone.
Two years ago this month, a young man who killed his mother and took her guns walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and began firing. When the smoke cleared, Adam Lanza, 20, had shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, in the five minutes between the time he shot his way into the school and the time police arrived. He then shot himself dead.
The House has passed the $585 billion Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Clearing that obstacle is good. Unfortunately, the legislation is larded with billions of dollars in waste and fat, and now the Senate must muster the determination to do what the House wouldn't.
Conservatives in Congress are steaming, and with good reason. If the 113th Congress, now on its deathbed but still twitching and making dying sounds, doesn't appropriate the money needed to keep the government operating until the deadline at the end of the week, the government will have to shut down. This is something the Republican leaders in both the House and Senate vow they will avoid by whatever means necessary.