Obama’s Second-Term Agenda Stalls
Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast
I was listening to a couple of congressmen chat privately about the prospects for immigration reform, and they agreed that the time had come to roll out a bipartisan plan in the next week or two.What was striking was how optimistic they were that the Senate was on the verge of cutting a deal, which in turn would boost their efforts to pass a bill in John Boehner's House.
Hillary Clinton and the Experience Trap
Julian Zelizer, CNN
(CNN) — Hillary Clinton could be an excellent presidential candidate for the Democrats in 2016. After suffering through an extremely difficult loss in the primaries against Barack Obama, Clinton has managed to strengthen her resume.As secretary of state, she improved her standing on foreign policy and earned more respect among Democrats who had been skeptical of her positions ever since her vote on the resolution to authorize force in Iraq in 2002.
Thatcher & Reagan: Strong-Willed Leaders Allied
Tom Brokaw, Guardian
When Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were leading their countries in new directions during their respective terms in office, it was the strongest transatlantic partnership since the second world war – for, however much they differed in style, they shared the same vision.She was the feisty prime minister, a strong-willed and articulate contrarian. He was equally strong-willed, but in the more accommodating cloak of an Irish-American storyteller who was perfectly cast as president. For the movie, think Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (or the magical Meryl Streep for both…
NRA Fails Again on School Plan
We Need an IQ Test for Politicians
Glenn Reynolds, New York Post
While politicians talk about expanding background checks for gun owners, I’m starting to think that what we really need are IQ tests for political officeholders. The only problem is, that might leave us with a lot of vacancies in Congress and America’s statehouses.The debacle over New York’s rushed-through gun bill is one example of what happens when enthusiasm meets stupid. But another is to be found in Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who supports a ban on full-capacity magazines without understanding what a magazine actually is.
Vitriol Infests Warren Family Grief
Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today
The Cultural Fight for Guns
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
One of the oddities of the gun-control debate—apart from ours being the only country that really has one—is that the gun side basically gave up on serious arguments about safety or self-defense or anything else a while ago. The old claims about the million—or was it two million? It kept changing—bad guys stopped by guns each year has faded under the light of scrutiny. Indeed, people who possess guns are almost five times more likely to be shot than those who don’t. (“A gun may falsely empower its possessor to overreact, instigating…
A Workforce With No Workers
Terry Keenan, New York Post
Mexico Becomes a Good Neighbor
Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
We Americans are lucky, though we seldom reflect on it, that we have good neighbors.In East Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines face challenges from China over islands they have long claimed in the East China Sea.In Europe, Germany and other prosperous nations face demands for subsidies from debt-ridden nations to avoid the collapse of the Euro.When Southern Europeans look across the Mediterranean, they see Muslim nations facing post-Arab spring upheaval and disorder.The United States has land borders with just two nations, Canada (on which more on another day) and Mexico,…
How Machiavelli Saved My Family
Suzanne Evans, Wall Street Journal
From the beginning, it was total chaos. There were endless chores, to say nothing of the logistics of caring for four kids under 8 (two from our previous marriages and two we'd had together). At the same time, I had just started a new full-time job writing legal briefs from home, and I was trying to finish a dissertation for my Ph.D. in history. All of which meant that I was trapped inside for days at a time with my kids, whose constant bickering was driving me nuts. Like millions of other modern moms, I tried to change them by yelling and nagging. This, of course, only made their…
China Is Hacking the World
Federalism Attack on DOMA Is a Trojan Horse
Linda Greenhouse, NYT
Beware of conservatives bearing gifts. Ever since last week’s frustrating Supreme Court argument in the Defense of Marriage Act case, I’ve been wondering whether the attack on DOMA will turn out to be a constitutional Trojan horse. It may bring victory: the demise of a spiteful federal statute, enacted by an opportunistic Congress and signed into law 17 years ago by a cowardly Bill Clinton. But at what price? You might have thought the case, United States v. Windsor, was about equality: marriage equality, in the graceful current locution. The two lower federal courts that…
Big Government Almost Always Means Big Failures
The Trigger and the Poison Pill
Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
Are Democrats serious about border enforcement? It's supposed to be the trigger that would allow illegal immigrants to start on the path to citizenship.
Will Gay Marriage Split the Republican Party?
Ana Marie Cox, Guardian
A poll released on Monday found that Republicans' number one criticism of their own party was that it was “inflexible” and “unwilling to compromise”. These respondents should be heartened by two headline-grabbing examples of Republicans bending to accommodate human fallibility: GOP voters in South Carolina accepted wayward spouse and absentee governor Mark Sanford as their congressional nominee and Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, announced that he now supports marriage equality. I'd argue that only one of these anecdotes is about the redemption of…
Why Is North Korea Our Problem?
Robert Robb, Arizona Republic
As tensions mount, this question is being asked too infrequently: Why is North Korea primarily a U.S. problem?At the moment, it is inescapably a U.S. problem. The leader of the country is threatening to lob nukes at us. We may doubt his seriousness or capabilities. Nevertheless, the threat cannot be ignored.But did it have to end up this way?North Korea is an extortionist regime. It sable-rattles at least in part to get other countries to give it stuff to stop.The United States, under both the Clinton and Bush II administrations, played North Korea's game. Since 1995, U.S. taxpayers have…
The King of Queens Graft
Justice Ginsburg’s Misdirection
Leave Ben Carson Alone
John McWhorter, Time
Ben Carson criticized Obamacare, sharply, with Obama listening, at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. And Carson is black.Yes, Carson is the black – gasp – conservative of the moment, this weekend also speaking out against gay marriage, for which he has been forced to apologize.Unsurprisingly, Carson, an accomplished neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, has been celebrated by the right, and is considering politics. Enter the usual dogpile from black commenters: Carson as a traitor, a sellout, airing his views not from sincerity but because he wants to please the white…
Children With Birth Defects: The Gifts We’d Lose
Kyle Smith, NY Post
As mothers tend to do, Britt Sady loves her child Noah. He’s 3 years old and recently to his delight she taught him the word “fart.” That Noah has Down syndrome hasn’t diminished Britt’s love.But won’t he become increasingly a source of frustration and even disappointment? Isn’t raising a Down syndrome (DS) child supposed to be a nightmare? Sady asked a friend raising a 14-year-old son with DS, “When does it get hard?”
Offensive Comment Unlikely to Derail Don Young
Scott Conroy, RCP
In his four decades as Alaska's lone representative in the U.S. House, Republican Don Young has shown a penchant for creating controversy that is perhaps matched only by his resilience following such gaffes.Young's use of an ethnic slur during a radio interview last week (he referred to migrant workers who once picked tomatoes on his father's California farm as "wetbacks") was just the latest in a long line of off-color or inflammatory remarks that the nation's second-longest-serving GOP congressman has uttered in public over the years.But coming at a…
The Test Score Racket
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — It is time to acknowledge that the fashionable theory of school reform — requiring that pay and job security for teachers, principals and administrators depend on their students' standardized test scores — is at best a well-intentioned mistake, and at worst nothing but a racket.I mean that literally. Beverly Hall, the former superintendent of the Atlanta public schools, was indicted on racketeering charges Friday for an alleged cheating scheme that won her more than $500,000 in performance bonuses. Hall, who retired two years ago, is also accused of theft, conspiracy and…
Ft. Hood Victims Shamefully Denied Purple Hearts
Andy McCarthy, PJM
What fact do you suppose is better known: (a) that Nidal Hasan has been incarcerated since he killed 13 American soldiers and wounded several others while screaming, “Allahu Akbar!” in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre, or (b) that his victims were denied Purple Heart medals by the U.S. government?Obviously, by leaps and bounds, the answer is (a). And for this reason, among several others, it is patently disgraceful that the Obama administration and its minions in the hyper-politically correct Pentagon brass are denying those soldiers shot by Hasan the military honors they are…
Does Google Benefit by Aligning w/Liberalism?
Emily Chertoff, Atlantic
Conservative online media exploded yesterday with another story about Google. To celebrate one day — the birthday of the labor activist Cesar Chavez — Google had swapped into its homepage a doodle featuring the activist's face. Of course, yesterday was also celebrated by millions around the world for another reason altogether — Easter.As they tend to when the company makes what appears on its face to be a political statement, conservative media focused very intently on the avowedly liberal politics of the people who run Google.
Napolitano Must Do Her Part on Immigration Reform]]>
Case Against Gay Marriage Has Collapsed
Albert Hunt, Bloomberg
The substantive case against gay marriage collapsed in the Supreme Court last week.Legally, Supreme Court watchers say, advocates won't win the sweeping victory they once anticipated as they made arguments last week. The court is likely to overturn a California law that precludes same-sex marriage, on technical grounds. The 17-year-old federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and woman, and thus denying federal spousal benefits to gays and lesbians, almost certainly will be thrown out on the grounds that such decisions should be left to the states.
A Slipping Middle Class Agenda
Chris Stirewalt, FOX News
This is an unhappy time for President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency to announce new gasoline regulations.The agency claims that the new rules will add only a penny to the price of a gallon of regular unleaded while industry groups say it will be closer to a dime. Whatever the estimate, American consumers are not in the mood to hear about higher pump prices.
Administration Yanks a Missile That Upset Russia
The Attack of the Killer Surplus
Gail Collins, New York Times
The State Legislature has been in a kind of anti-abortion meltdown, piling up bills with what-the-heck abandon. The House and Senate passed a “fetal heartbeat” bill that would prohibit abortions when a woman was about six weeks into pregnancy. They also each passed a “fetal pain” bill that would prohibit abortions at around 20 weeks. Plus a resolution giving fetuses the rights of personhood, which would not only prohibit abortion altogether, but would also outlaw some forms of infertility treatment and contraception. There was also a bill banning…
America Needs an ObamaCare Exit Strategy
Shikha Dalmia, Examiner
Not even the most ardent defenders of Obamacare — aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — claim anymore that the law will lower health coverage costs for Americans. How, then, will it achieve universal coverage, its central goal?The short answer is, it won't.
Why Not Separate Marriage and State?
John Fund, National Review
There is no question that the media, political, and cultural push for gay marriage has made impressive gains. As recently as 1989, voters in avant-garde San Francisco repealed a law that had established only domestic partnerships.But judging by the questions posed by Supreme Court justices this week in oral arguments for two gay-marriage cases, most observers do not expect sweeping rulings that would settle the issue and avoid protracted political combat. A total of 41 states currently do not allow gay marriage, and most of those laws are likely to remain in place for some time. Even should…
Israel’s Insightful Cynicism
Robert Kaplan, Stratfor
Israel is in the process of watching a peace treaty unravel. I don't mean the one with Egypt, but the one with Syria. No, I'm not crazy. Since Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy in 1974, the Israelis have had a de facto peace agreement of sorts with the al Assad family. After all, there were clear red lines that both sides knew they shouldn't cross, as well as reasonable predictability on both sides. Forget about the uplifting rhetoric, the requirement to exchange ambassadors and the other public policy frills that normally define peace treaties. What counts in this case…
White House Yawns as ObamaCare Premium Spikes Loom
Global Warming: If Only We’d Listened to Experts?
James Delingpole, DT
Sir John Beddington, the government's retiring Chief Scientist has been doing the media rounds today, telling anyone who'll listen how “Climate Change” is still a serious problem about which we should all worry greatly.Has he looked out of the window recently?Looking out of my window just now, I noticed that the Northamptonshire landscape was completely blanketed in Dr David Viner. Just like it was yesterday. And the day before that, when we rescued two orphaned lambs from the frozen fields. Which isn't something you normally expect in March, is it?
Republicans Could Hold House, Senate, Presidency by ‘16
Matt Lewis, DC
As bleak as things look for the GOP in the short-term (and they do look bleak), it’s stunning to consider the entirely possible scenario whereby Republicans could control the presidency and both houses of Congress in the very near future.Consider this: As Romney learned, history says it’s difficult to defeat a sitting president in the modern era. But it is arguably even harder for a political party to win three consecutive presidential elections.Only George H.W. Bush (who was essentially awarded Reagan’s third term) has pulled it off in the last fifty, or so,…