American Spectator

  • Trump Opponents Never Tire of Losing
    For well over three years, Donald Trump has been under attack. He has been subjected to unprecedented slander by the media, dirty tricks by the Democrats, legally dubious investigations, and sabotage by the deep state. Yet he is not only still standing, he has a record of accomplishments that any president would be happy to claim after two years in office. One would think his opponents would be able to divine a message from this. To wit, their time might be better spent working on behalf of the voters rather than launching further futile attempts to bring Trump down. Moreover, the polls have increasingly indicated that this would not only be the right thing to do, it would be the smart move. A new Morning Consult poll — hardly predisposed to favor President Trump — shows enthusiasm for impeachment among registered voters continuing to plummet. Only 34 percent of registered voters favor ousting Trump, and among Independents that percentage is only 31 percent. Even among Democrats, the percentage who want to see the President impeached has fallen by 12 points (from 71 to 59 percent). The voters, in other words, are done. Yet Trump’s antagonists are clearly determined to lengthen their losing streak. It began when he announced his intention to run for president in June of 2015. Typical of the media reception he received was the NBC story titled, “Donald Trump Announces Presidential Bid by Trashing Mexico, Mexicans.” What he actually did, of course, was say what every major politician regardless of party had already said about illegal immigration at our southern border. Soon, however, virtually every “news” outlet began claiming that he had called all Mexicans rapists and killers. This theme was soon picked up by the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton. In remarks made to a La Raza conference she said, “I don’t have to wait to become president to take a stand right here and right now against the divisive rhetoric that demonizes immigrants and their families.… It is shameful and no one should stand for it.” Never mind that her position on illegal immigration had long been identical to Trump’s and that she bragged, “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.” At about the time Clinton was singing in hypocritical harmony with the media about Trump’s “shameful” rhetoric, her campaign staff began working with Fusion GPS to organize the most despicable and dangerous dirty trick in the history of American politics. The result was, of course, a conspiracy to smear Trump involving not just the media and the Democratic National Committee, but the directors of the FBI, National Security Agency, and National Intelligence. When Her Majesty lost the 2016 election, and Trump started firing people, the deep state retaliated: Admitting there is no actual evidence for their probe into whether ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By David Catron
    23 hours ago
  • Meatless Meats and Other Market Miracles
    Sacramento Is it better to have been a cow who, after spending a few years in a pasture or a feedlot, gets sent to a slaughterhouse — or to have never been a cow at all? Animal-rights activists and ethicists might want to start pondering that ethereal question now that a couple of California-based companies have developed plant-based meat substitutes that taste remarkably similar to ground beef. One of those firms, Beyond Meat, announced that it’s ready to offer a public stock offering. The El Segundo company’s products are available at thousands of U.S. grocery stores and restaurants. Redwood City’s Impossible Foods burger already is on the menu at Red Robin and other places, while Burger King test-markets the Impossible Whopper in St. Louis. If they catch on, there’s a possibility that the demand for cattle will ultimately fall. And that’s before we ponder the future of lab-grown meat. Here’s one sign the threat is serious: Some ranchers are lobbying for new labeling laws and other restrictions on plant-based and lab-grown foods. (The Guardian quotes one farm-industry official saying, “If farmers and ranchers think we can mock and dismiss these products as a passing fad, we’re kidding ourselves.”) There are so many thought-provoking lessons to be drawn from this developing industry, beyond the above-mentioned one about the lives and welfare of the lowly cow. The main one centers on the way that the free market resolves problems — real or perceived — through abundance and choice rather than regulation and edicts. Environmentalists and the professional nannies have long been decrying our reliance on meat in our diets. “Meat consumption in the United States — and across much of the Western world — has reached a level that is unsustainable, both for our planet and for our health,” wrote Laura Wellesley, a researcher on climate change and food security, in a 2016 Washington Post column. The headline asks the usual, infuriating question: “Should the government step in?” That argument is jaw-dropping. The entire history of human existence has been defined by a mad search for calories. Hunger, poverty, and short lifespans are the norm, not the exception. I feel a combination of optimism and dread about the state of humanity when the biggest “food security” problem is that delicious, life-sustaining food is too inexpensive and readily available. Writing on a full stomach, I suppose, Wellesley complains that global consumption of red meat is expected to rise by 76 percent by 2050 because of growing demand in “emerging economies.” She praises China’s government for introducing a new set of dietary guidelines pushing its citizens to cut its meat-consumption levels in half. It’s apparently a bad thing that people living in poor nations are now eager to enjoy what Americans and other westerners have long taken for granted: access to a diverse diet of sumptuous meat-based offerings rather than subsistence on rice and vegetables. Of course, ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By Steven Greenhut
    23 hours ago
  • Fossil Fuels Phobia
    The Democrat Party’s Green New Deal is nothing but a pipe dream. Its only value is to serve as a reminder of the party’s fossil fuels’ lunacy. Fossil fuels are an issue that sharply distinguishes Democrats from Republicans. Republicans consider fossil fuels a blessing, Democrats consider them a curse. Democrats openly advocate leaving our fossil fuels in the ground beyond the reach of humans. The radical environmentalist group Greenpeace is waging a “keep it in the ground” campaign. The Democrats protest every attempt to increase the supply and reduce the prices of oil and gas. They fight fracking, pipelines, offshore drilling, and development of ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve). They have advocated special taxes on fossil fuels (the “carbon tax”), and arbitrary mileage requirements for cars and trucks. Fracking is banned in the entire state of New York. They guilt-trip everyone for their so-called “carbon footprints.” Fossil fuels provide a wide array of benefits to humans. Those benefits are nothing short of profound — warmth, mobility, illumination, cooking, air-conditioning, just to name a few of the more obvious ones. Fossil fuels are not a minor blessing, they are a gigantic blessing. Without them our living standards would be a fraction of what they are now. Fossil fuels are the raw materials for a mind-boggling array of products. Natural gas, surprisingly, is the primary ingredient in the production of nitrogen fertilizer, a major factor in “the green revolution.” When oil and gas prices are low the benefits reverberate throughout the economy. Oil and gas prices can be thought of as “super prices,” prices that affect thousands of other prices. (Other examples of super prices are exchange rates and interest rates.) Energy is a major cost for businesses and industries. For individuals low oil and gas prices are the equivalents of a pay raise or tax reduction. Democrats claim to be champions of low and middle income groups. Their disdain for the enormous benefits of low prices shows them for the frauds they actually are. Judging by their policies Democrat politicians are economic sadists. California is an example of what happens when Democrat policies are pursued without opposition. Gasoline prices in the state are typically a dollar per gallon higher than those prevailing in the rest of the U.S. Another way fossil fuels are a blessing is their sheer abundance. Humans have been enjoying the benefits of fossil fuels for over 200 years and yet the known recoverable reserves are greater than ever before. Although the physical quantity is no greater than it was at the beginning of that period, our ability to identify and recover what’s there has increased exponentially, basically because human knowledge and technology have increased exponentially. As R.W. Emerson put it, “invention breeds invention.” Amazingly, known reserves are increasing faster than they’re being depleted. The once common concern known as “peak oil” looks silly in hindsight. The two main factors contributing to the abundance of oil and gas are fracking and horizontal drilling. Fracking makes possible the recovery ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By Ron Ross
    23 hours ago
  • The Evil Madness of the Witch-Hunters
    Wednesday About twenty years ago, there was a rash of witch sightings in the elementary schools of America. Teachers, in the eyes of kindergartners, became able to fly above the playground, have sex with the students, penetrate the students with scissors — all without any supporting evidence. This was particularly true in an elementary school or pre-school just south of Los Angeles. It went so far that even mighty newspapers here like the LA Times ran stories supporting the children’s accounts. Bumper stickers began to appear on hippie cars like Volvos saying, “I BELIEVE THE CHILDREN.” This despite there not being a mark on the children or a speck of blood anywhere near the schoolyard. I wrote an article saying how ridiculous this all was. It was accepted by the LA Times op-ed staff but someone there warned me that the staff there largely “BELIEVED THE CHILDREN” and if they ran my piece they would never run anything by me again. I have never tested them. It all comes to mind when I think of the recently concluded witch-hunt (no quotation marks needed on this one) about Donald Trump and the Russians. There never was any evidence of Trump-Russia “collusion.” No one ever even knew what collusion would look like. It would have to be something huge to swing an election against the odds-on favorite, Hillary Clinton. (And by the way, I really like Bill Clinton.) But there was no such event anywhere on the horizon. So where was the collusion? It existed in the minds of a few blowhards on Cable News and in the Congress. Otherwise, it did not exist. It was as much of a fantasy as Hansel and Gretel. But the media ate it up. Without any evidence at all, the media/Congressional complex was positive that Trump was a Russian agent. My neighbor here in California, Adam Schiff, would have staked his life on it. I wish I were rich enough to run for Congress and shout him down. Now, Mr. Mueller has come out with his report and despite his every effort to terrify and jail Trump’s supporters — and I hope Trump pardons them all — he could not find a crime that merited punishment or sanctions or even severe complaint. So, naturally the big babies of the media cannot call it quits. They have to proclaim that there is something hidden in the edits (“redaction” is the French word for “editing”) that would damn Donald Trump for all time. And they won’t let go of this bone. Like a real hound dog, they growl and bare their fangs when you try to snatch that bone — the TRUTH — away from them and give it to history. I keep thinking, thank God for Fox News. Thank God for the Wall Street Journal and for The American Spectator. The witch-hunt thing was exactly what happened to Richard Nixon. To this day, no one has been able to find a real crime other than “thought crime” against Richard ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By Ben Stein
    23 hours ago
  • The Past Is Imperfect
    I remember listening to Kate Smith with my parents. I think it was on the Ed Sullivan show. You could tell, even with our TV’s tinny speaker, that her fulsome voice could reach the far seats of the largest venue and rattle the teeth there like castanets. Her big voice was matched by a big body. I’m certain I wasn’t the only wise guy kid who, when she sang the signature line of her hit, “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,” imagined the next line should be, “Kate Smith will hide it from view.” Another Smith standard became a fixture at Yankee Stadium till just a few days ago — “God Bless America.” If the wokelings among us have their way, it will be banished forever from the ears of Yankee fans and, indeed, from any other public performance. Smith, they say, was a racist. All around us the oh-so-woke guard the less enlightened from damaging things like statues of guys who died a century and a half ago or Founding Fathers who weren’t Democratic Socialists before Democratic Socialism was conjured up. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was key to creating the first nation to put things like freedom of religion and freedom of speech into a constitution that guaranteed them as fundamental rights. He would have been hanged by the neck, if George Washington had caught a bullet on one of his many battlefields. Tom, however, owned slaves, so anything associated with him should have his name removed and his every sin should be trumpeted. That was the practice employed by Joseph Stalin back in the days of Communist Russia. When some official who’d been dutifully executing state enemies by the bushel fell foul of Uncle Joe and was himself executed, it was embarrassing for the boss to have photos of the dead guy standing side-by-side with him smiling in official documents or books. The solution was to blot out the fellow from all those images, not a small task in the days before Photoshop. The now-despised was also cut out of all records as anything other than a louse. It may be more difficult to expunge and revise Thomas Jefferson but don’t count out the know-best horde. They dream big politically correct dreams. Meanwhile, Kate Smith makes an easier target. In the 1930s, Smith recorded two songs with racist lyrics and was drawn accepting a “mammy” doll from a fan in a racist cartoon ad for the baking powder company that sponsored her radio show. Smith probably had little or nothing to do with creating the ad, but she did sing the songs. One was “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she sang in the 1933 film Hello Everybody to African-American children playing orphans. The song, which is dated to at least 1918, described a happy afterlife featuring such offensively stereotypical rewards for the children as gigantic watermelons. A second song was her 1931 version ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By Ed Morrow
    23 hours ago
  • When Earth Day Predictions Go Predictably Wrong
    As activists around the world recently celebrated Earth Day with warnings about the awful state of our planet, now seems like the right time to share the good news that actually — contrary to countless dire predictions — we’re not running out of resources. In fact, the late economist and scholar Julian Simon was right: People again and again have innovated “their way out of resource shortages.” As Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute reminds us in an article about “18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970,” back in 1969, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote that “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born.” He added that by 1975, “some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions.” In 1970, he revised his prediction for the worse to warn us, as Perry writes, that “between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the ‘Great Die-Off.’” In 1972, a group known as the Club of Rome made similarly apocalyptic predictions. In response, Dr. Simon, who at the time of his death in 1998 was an economics professor at the University of Maryland, argued that these predictions were wholly unwarranted. There would be no extinction from starvation. Simon recognized that people are the ultimate resource and would innovate their way toward greater abundance. Ultimately, Simon challenged Ehrlich to a wager. Ehrlich believed that population growth meant increased scarcity and, hence, higher commodity prices. Simon believed that “more people meant more brains,” which means better extraction technologies, more efficient methods of production, and the more efficient use of commodities — all of which lead to lower commodity prices. The bet itself was meant to determine whether commodity prices would rise or fall over the period from 1980-1990. If they fell, that would mean that the commodities became more abundant. If instead they rose, that would have signaled that commodities became scarcer. Simon was willing to bet that over any number of years, inflation-adjusted commodity prices would fall. Simon won that bet. During the 1980s, the prices of the commodities in the Simon-Ehrlich bet decreased. Ehrlich’s dire prediction thankfully never came to pass. Some have argued that had they picked the following decade, Ehrlich may have won. That said, the consensus is that when looking at an index of all commodities over a 100-year period, there’s a clear decline in prices with a few short-lived periods of increase. This failure didn’t stop Ehrlich and others from continuing to issue similarly apocalyptic predictions up to this day. In response, two scholars have picked up the Simon torch to, once again, closely study the issue. The true heirs of the great humanist and optimist Simon, ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, April 25, 2019By Veronique de Rugy
    23 hours ago
  • The Hillyer Plan to Save Social Security and Medicare
    Monday’s release of the annual report from the trustees of Social Security and Medicare reminds us, this time all the more urgently, that Congress and the president are derelict in their duty. Without concerted action of the sort Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to substantially increase the life of Social Security in a grand compromise in 1983, both federal retirement programs face doom. Trustees say that for the first time since 1982, the main Social Security trust fund is expected next year to pay out more money than it takes in. By 2035, Social Security’s official trust fund will be entirely depleted, they say. The trust fund for Medicare Part A will be depleted far sooner than that, in 2026. Yes, sustained economic growth can push back the respective days of reckoning by a year or two. On the other hand, with unemployment at a 50-year low, history says the odds of a slowdown or recession are higher than those of continued growth — which means the depletion dates, if anything, are more likely to be, not later, than 2035 and 2026. The situation screams out for significant legislation. Fortunately, I have a proposal. In some ways its effect is mostly to shift the book-keeping for various streams of federal tax money, to the detriment of the non-retirement-systems debt and the benefit of the retirement systems. Nonetheless, I believe it will help the economy at the margins, provide for higher wages for non-executives, and provide more public clarity and confidence. Space doesn’t allow a full explanation of each part of the Hillyer Plan. That will come in later columns. Herewith, though, is a list of the elements thereof. The first is a very rough tradeoff of “general fund” revenue for money specifically dedicated to Social Security and Medicare — with the added goal of making accounting less complicated by dealing in whole or round numbers. The current payroll tax dedicated to Social Security is 6.2 % each for the employee and the employer, and the Medicare tax is 1.45% each for the employee and employer. I would bump the former up to 6.5% each, and the latter up to 1.5% each. End those weird fractions, and put the tiny increases into the two trust funds. To help corporations pay for the added cost, let’s cut the top corporate income tax rate from 21 % to an even 20%.At the same time, the 20% deduction for pass-through businesses, which under current law will end after 2025, should be made permanent. Two more major changes will lengthen the actuarial life of both programs. First, lawmakers should bite the bullet and do exactly what Dole and company did in 1983, and allow the age for qualification for full benefits once again to rise. The Social Security full-eligibility age is now rising to 67 by 2027. Let it keep rising, over the subsequent six years, to 68. Likewise, the Medicare full-eligibility age, now 65, should start rising slowly to 66. Now ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, April 24, 2019By Quin Hillyer
    2 days ago
  • Give Warren a BS Degree in Vote Buying
    Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren’s strategy is to win the Democratic nomination by promising the most free stuff. Monday she upped the ante. She’s offering a whopping $50,000 student loan forgiveness for nearly everyone who borrowed for college or graduate school. That’s old-fashioned, Tammany Hall-style bribery — handing out dollars to buy votes. Warren’s proposal is designed to buy a lot of them. One in every six adult Americans is saddled with college debt. It’s bigger than credit card debt or auto loans. Magically erasing student debt is her ploy to win over college students, adults in their twenties and thirties struggling with their loans, and millions of parents left holding the bag. Warren’s giveaway will cost taxpayers $640 billion. It’s a poke in the eye of every assembly line worker, waitress, truck driver, and other taxpayer who never got to college because they went to work instead of going into debt. Why should they now have to pay someone else’s college loans? Sure, families swamped with college debts deserve sympathy. But Democrats aren’t leveling with them or the public about what’s causing this problem. House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters tries to pin the blame on the banking industry. When Waters had several banking CEOs appearing before her committee, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Citigroup’s Michael Corbat, she demanded their plan to fix the student loan crisis. After an embarrassing silence, they had to remind her banks don’t make student loans. The Obama administration took student lending over entirely in 2010. In Monday’s announcement, Warren tried to vilify the federal government for “pushing families that can’t afford to pay the outrageous costs of higher education towards taking out loans.” There’s a sliver of truth to that, because Uncle Sam makes loans to virtually all comers, regardless of their ability to repay the money. But Warren leaves out the biggest culprits, the colleges themselves. Colleges hike their tuition every year because they can. The feds have been willing to increase loan amounts to match whatever colleges charge. The result? Every dollar loaned inflates tuition by another sixty cents, according to Federal Reserve research. In this heartless scheme, students are mules, carrying dollars from Washington, D.C. to campuses nationwide. Never mind if they ever graduate or land jobs to pay back their loans. The more money colleges rake in, the more extravagantly they spend. Federal loans help bankroll exorbitant salaries for college presidents — the University of Louisville’s president takes in nearly $4.3 million while Columbia University’s president gets $3.9 million. Awash in money, colleges spend way more on nonteaching staff than on teachers. Six-figure salaries for diversity officers, admissions and financial aid managers, and layers on layers of other administrators, all on the gravy train. Yet all these high-priced administrators can’t manage to get students to graduate. A shocking 34% of public college students can’t make it through a four-year program even in six years. They fail, still saddled with loans to repay. Warren’s wants taxpayers to forgive up to ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, April 24, 2019By Betsy McCaughey
    2 days ago
  • Mueller’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ Impeachment Road Map
    Nathaniel Hawthorne, call your office. Hester Prynne, your fictional protagonist, had a scarlet letter “A” imprinted on her dress, to wear in public and thus advertise to the end of her life her adulterous relationship. Hester was ostracized, a punishment visited on Donald Trump by various public- and private-life segments of the Never Trump coalition: academics, Hollywood and above all, left-wing mainstream press. Hester, doing penance to the end of her life, stuck to her knitting; Trump, for the remainder of his first term, and perhaps, for a full second term, plans to stick to his — being president. Not if the Democrats have anything to say about it. And they do. With the “Russia collusion” narrative so effectively torched by the first volume of the Mueller Report — even Adam Schiff is tossing it (however belatedly) — the focus shifts to the second volume of the report. Therein its authors examine what constitutes in law an “obstruction of justice.” It was this area that doomed the presidency of Richard Nixon, 45 years ago. Nixon resigned when told by GOP congressional leaders that he had three votes in the House, and upon impeachment there he would be convicted in a Senate trial. Special counsel Leon Jaworski named “RN” as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the “Watergate” scandal cover-up. House Democrats have the majority and thus can impeach the president without support from across the aisle. It is unlikely the Senate will convict — just as was the case in 1998, when Republicans impeached president Clinton. But the House can do so anyway, and thus indelibly besmirch President Trump’s historical reputation. They need not have legal cause, as impeachment is a political remedy. Whereas a criminal charge must be proven in a court of law “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the House can vote articles of impeachment on broader, non-legal terms. The oft-quoted April 15, 1970 formulation of then-GOP House minority leader Gerald Ford, leading an abortive effort to impeach Justice William O. Douglas, suggests its scope: [A]n impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body [the Senate] considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office. (Emphasis mine.) To be fair, read in context (h/t, Matthew Franck’s 2006 NRO article), Ford pre-emptively narrowed his definition earlier in his speech: Let me say by way of preface that I am a lawyer, admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. I have the most profound respect for the United States Supreme Court. I would never advocate action against a Member of that court because of his political philosophy or the legal opinions which he contributes to the decisions of the court. Justice Douglas has been criticized for his liberal opinions and because he granted stays of execution to the convicted spies, the Rosenbergs, who stole the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union. Probably I ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, April 24, 2019By John C. Wohlstetter
    2 days ago
  • America Is Losing the Global War on Terrorism
    Two hundred ninety Christians in Sri Lanka were slaughtered with an additional 500 being wounded while peacefully celebrating the resurrection of their Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday. Since neither former President Barack Obama nor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem able (or willing) to articulate the cause of their deaths, let me state it explicitly: those 290 children, women, and men who were killed in Sri Lanka this past Easter Sunday were murdered by Islamic extremists, simply because they were Christians. And, before you pull out your maps to identify which part of the Middle East Sri Lanka is in, it’s not in the Middle East. After all, Sri Lanka is a majority Buddhist country in southern Asia (it makes up 70 percent of the population, Hinduism makes up 16 percent, with Islam and Christianity each making up 8 percent of the population). This is yet another sign of how ineffective the United States’ nearly-30 year-long war against Islamic radicalism has been. We’ve not won anything in the laughably titled “Global War on Terror.” Spreading the Cancer Instead, our endless military engagements with the forces of jihad has merely scattered them farther afield. Today, jihadists have expanded their interminable holy war into lands beyond Mecca and Medina to what was once considered the periphery of the Islamic world: Africa and parts of Asia. How often have U.S. leaders prematurely declared victory in our War on Terror? Too many times to count. Despite more than $1 trillion having been spent on the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, Islamic terrorism has not subsided. How can we possibly be defeating jihad if it is arising in Africa’s Sahel region and in places ranging from the Philippines to Sri Lanka? Since 2018, groups swearing fealty to either the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) or al Qaeda have engaged in mass terror attacks in Libya, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Somalia, and Mali. In 2015, Boko Haram in Nigeria, killed tens of thousands of people according to some estimates. Today, despite the intensive efforts to destroy Boko Haram by the governments of Nigeria, the United States, the British, and several other allied states, Boko Haram has migrated to the ungoverned space of the Lake Chad region, where it is destabilizing Nigeria, Niger, and Chad. Meanwhile, there are waves of migrants fleeing the war-torn Middle East, boarding rickety boats in Oman and other Mideast port cities, and heading across the Pacific Ocean to countries like Indonesia (the largest Muslim state in the world), Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, etc. At the same time, other groups move from war-torn Afghanistan or Pakistan into places like Bengal, bringing radical notions of Islamism with them. We’re Not Winning Anything Wherever these groups move, jihadist terrorism increases greatly. So, while Washington may applaud the fact that it has done significant damage to al Qaeda Prime in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or, that it recently defeated the physical “caliphate” of ISIS in ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, April 24, 2019By Brandon J. Weichert
    2 days ago
  • A Hero Amongst the Liars
    Washington Over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal Brian Lamb, the founder of C-Span, tendered a Solomonic statement in his valedictory interview after some 40 years before the television cameras. Said Lamb, “Lying is the word that I would use to describe this town.” And he went on, “I don’t know if it will ever stop. It’s gotten worse rather then getting better, and both sides do it. You’ve got to listen very carefully to what they’re saying.” By “they” he meant politicians, journalists, and practically anyone listening to them. He referred to the politically alive as, shall we say, the political class. For forty years Lamb has been interviewing the political class, and for forty years he has sat through their endless lies. Some of those lies were simply B.S., the kind of B.S. one expects from people who make their way in the world not by candor but by exaggeration or understatement to the point of inaccuracy, or other revisions of reality. One thinks of Bill Clinton. Other lies are more serious. One thinks of Bill Clinton again. Actually, when Lamb says “It’s gotten worse rather than getting better,” Bill is not the only one that comes to mind. There is also Hillary whose lies are both unserious and serious, and an entire city of liars. As Lamb says, it is not getting better. It has gotten worse. With the release of the Mueller report we were led to think that we would either be at the end of all this talk about Russian collusion or at least we would have revealed to us exactly what the evidence of collusion has been. Well, on Friday the Good Times, as opposed to the New York Times, headlined the report’s findings succinctly. Quoth the Times: “NO CONSPIRACY, NO COLLUSION.” Washington promptly erupted, and it erupted with lies. Frankly, the report’s revelations looked very clear to me. Those of us who have been awaiting the damaging evidence of collusion without ever getting it were proven right. We could now move on with the governing of the country. Yet the media and the Democrats had changed their demands hardly at all. They still wanted evidence of collusion by candidate Trump with Vladimir Putin and his Russian oligarchs. Moreover, now many in the media and the Democratic Party wanted to get on with impeachment, because they now had their evidence of conspiracy. So I guess the lying will go on. But what was the Russians’ goal in meddling in our elections in the first place? Was it not to sew discord among us and to erode our confidence in the democratic system as practiced here in America? It really did not matter to old Vladimir who won. Actually of the two candidates I would think he might prefer Hillary to Donald. It is Hillary who has historically been on the left and Donald Trump who has been, well, probably a centrist. So either way Putin wins as long as the Democrats and ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, April 24, 2019By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
    2 days ago
  • The News: There Really Is Nothing to See Here, People
    I was driving through rural Alabama when I saw the sign above: “Bull Evaluation Center.” Since I am not a man of agriculture, I imagined this place having an altogether different purpose. Suppose we were to rustle up a few of those rascal bovines with names like Trump-Russia Collusion Narrative or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal and dragged those big boys into the ring before the panel of judges. What would the good ol’ boys evaluating these critters say? I think they’d say: “That’s a lot of bull!” Let’s let our bull evaluators evaluate the news. Not any specific news, just the manner in which news itself is reported. Look at the screenshot below. These are, according to Apple News’s algorithms, the top four “Trending Stories” as of last night. This is typical. Are we this frivolous or is it possible that news agencies are “trending” toward nonsense that is designed to get clicks? It is, of course, both. The news is often no more than a means of ridiculing those the media hates (No. 4 on this list), gossip (No. 3), the bizarre (No. 2), and the inane (No. 1). Were there a fifth spot on their list, it would probably feature another tactic common in today’s newsrooms: fear-mongering. Chicken Little lives on in the headlines these days. So does Pollyanna. Yes, when the media isn’t whipping-up hysteria over President Trump or the environment or how evil America is, it is largely ignoring real issues and real evil: a welfare system on the verge of collapse; Planned Parenthood’s continued government-funded genocide; the annihilation of Christians in the Middle East and Africa — oh, and lest I forget Sri Lanka, Asia! — at the hands of Islamic extremists and the growing global threat that Islam poses to civilized societies; the erosion of free speech and the Rule of Law in the West; and the long-term consequences of undefended borders. These are just a few suggested items of inquiry for a media that seems to be bored or distracted. No, that is too kind. Its ideological commitments lie elsewhere. So, on the topic of news and how it is reported, our panel of judges say: “Bull!” Larry Alex Taunton is a freelance columnist, author, and contributor to The American Spectator. You can subscribe to his blog at ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By Larry Alex Taunton
    2 days ago
  • The Tom Perez Hypocrisy: No One Is Above the Law — Except Hillary
    You just have to love the boldness of it all. There is Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez — on Fox News no less — saying this: Tom Perez: No one — not even President Trump — is above the law following Mueller report revelations Says Mr. Perez: History will not be kind to this president, nor will it forget the cowards and criminals who enabled him. But history will also remember the courage of those who stood for the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. It will remember leaders who put country over party, activists who march and make their voices heard, and voters who use the power of the ballot box to hold this administration accountable. Justice is blind and no one is above the law. Catch that last sentence? This one? “Justice is blind and no one is above the law.” Right. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Beginning with this headline from Roll Call in September of 2015: Cornyn: DOJ Should Assign Special Counsel to Clinton Emails The No. 2 Republican in the Senate wants a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, entered the fray over the emails Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “Secretary Clinton denied publicly that she transmitted classified information and violated government policy, both of which proved untrue. Secretary Clinton’s lawyers made their own determinations as to which of the emails on her server were government records and deleted the remainder — tens of thousands of documents,” Cornyn wrote Tuesday. “And the former campaign staffer who set up the server, who would subsequently be employed both by the State Department and Secretary Clinton privately, has invoked the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to avoid providing information to government investigators.” Then there was this headline in the Washington Post in July of 2016: GOP congressmen call for new independent counsel, to probe Clinton again Reads the story: Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) became the first Republican to call for a new, independent investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of email during her years at the State Department, saying in a statement that the defunct independent counsel statute should be revived to “make an independent and impartial decision” about whether Clinton should be charged. “The investigation by the FBI is steeped in political bias, especially considering that former president Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just days before the FBI announced its decision,” Turner said. “The role of the independent counsel is to keep investigations honest and prosecutorial decisions independent of the political, personal and financial conflicts of interest that undermine accountability in government. It is time for Secretary Clinton to be held accountable for her extremely careless actions.” Not an ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By Jeffrey Lord
    3 days ago
  • Time to Ban Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’
    Kate Smith, legendary singer of “God Bless America,” has been blacklisted in New York and Philadelphia, and surely in more liberal bastions to come. The Yankees have banished her from the seventh-inning stretch, killing an inspiring tradition at Yankee Stadium since September 11, 2001. As for Philadelphia, home of the First Amendment, self-proclaimed city of freedom and brotherly love, its progressives have covered their statue of Smith, and the Flyers will no longer boom Kate’s rallying voice during must-win hockey games. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the wrecking ball comes for Kate. One wonders if New York and Philly liberals can scare up any photos of Kate to airbrush, including those pictures from World War II, where she helped sell $600 million worth of war bonds to defeat the Nazis. What did the long-deceased Smith do to earn such ignominy? Kate’s offense is a racial one. As the New York Post put it, it has been discovered that Smith in the 1930s performed two songs that “contain racist language and references,” namely “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” and “Pickaninnies’ Heaven.” Thus, the left’s Torquemadas of tolerance have henceforth proclaimed Kate Smith anathema. Not only must Smith be punished, but her “God Bless America” must be banned. She falls into the New Left’s Orwellian category of non-person. She’s finished. In no time, the left will demand that Smith’s Presidential Medal of Freedom be revoked, too. President Donald Trump should do so pronto. If he refuses, then he’s an unregenerate racist. There must be zero-tolerance and no place in public life for singers with racially offensive lyrics in their past, no matter what the era. Hence, this being so, I’m here to help liberals in this crusade. I’d like to submit for trial the great Irving Berlin, and especially his “White Christmas.” What? You’re confused? Well, allow me to assist these sages of history and culture. Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” was written by the wonderful Irving Berlin. Here’s Berlin singing it on the Ed Sullivan Show. Watch it. Beautiful, eh? It brings tears to my eyes. Yours as well? Well, if so, that’s unacceptable. You need to be enlightened. You see, Berlin is likewise guilty of musically racial insensitivities. I happened upon a Berlin heresy by accident. For several years, since my family was given a copy of the DVD as a Christmas present, we’ve watched the classic movie Holiday Inn. This is the original where Bing Crosby first sings Berlin’s magical “White Christmas.” Berlin did the entire score. Among the musical numbers in the show is a clownishly awful “blackface” routine, where Bing and Marjorie Reynolds dance and sing a piece called “Abraham.” For the record, I don’t like the piece, and neither do my kids. Personally, ever since I was a kid in the 1970s I’ve been baffled by the old blackface routines. I hated them and never understood their ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By Paul Kengor
    3 days ago
  • While Democrats Search for Crumbs, This Too Will Pass Over
    A guy is waiting for his date to get ready so they can go to a baseball game. She knows nothing about the sport and takes forever, and they arrive at the stadium horribly late. As they settle into their seats, the fellow next to them exclaims: “I have never seen anything like this! It is the top of the fourteenth inning, and neither side has had a runner on base — two perfect games going. Not a single run. Not a single error. Not a single hit. Not even a single walk. Nothing!” The date looks at the angry guy who brought her and says: “See! We haven’t missed a thing!” These past ten days I have been deeply immersed in preparations for the Pesach (Passover) holiday, then conducted two public community Seder events, conducted prayer services, and observed the first two holy days of Pesach week. Through these ten days I have followed the news but have had no time to write. And what did I miss? Not a damned thing. It has been Mueller for two years, and it will be Mueller for another two years. It has been Democrats trying for two years to destroy the President, and it will be Democrats trying for another two years to destroy the President. Nothing new under the sun. “That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.”Eccl. 1:9. If one were to give a name to this story, my suggestion would be: The Mueller, the Sun, and the Donkey. While nothing changed these past ten days or so, lots seems worth observing: 1. The Democrats Never Will Be Able to Wrap Their Heads Around the Reality That Other People Live Outside Their Echo Chamber. When I attended Columbia University as an undergrad in the 1970s, the students’ daily newspaper polled the university campus shortly before the impending 1972 Presidential elections. George McGovern, the Democrat, got something like 90 percent of the vote. Gus Hall, the Communist for whom Obama’s CIA chief, John Brennan, voted (talk about treason and colluding with the Russians!), came in second. Richard Nixon did not do too well. Nevertheless, when the rest of the country voted in the real election, Nixon won the biggest landslide in American history. So how did the Columbia Daily Spectator poll get it so wrong? The poll was not wrong within the leftist echo chamber… echo chamber… echo chamber of Columbia University. But others live outside the leftist bubble. Democrats and their Left appendages — the Mediacracy, Hollywood, and Broadway, academia — are suffused with totalitarian Leftist dogma, doctrine, and dominance. A conservative cannot get hired beyond “spot work” in most of these fields, and will not get re-hired if too vocal about what he or she believes. Even Harvard Prof. Emeritus Alan Dershowitz ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By Dov Fischer
    3 days ago
  • Refusing to Admit When We Are Wrong Has Become an American Crisis
    Reading the headlines these days, it seems America is besieged by countless threats. China, deficits, a broken educational system, there’s no shortage of monsters under our proverbial bed intent on doing us in. But lurking in the shadows, virtually unnoticed, is a cultural trend that has become so ensconced in our national dialogue that it borders on scientific law. I’m referring to the refusal of politically passionate Americans to admit when they are wrong; whole sectors of American society now prefer to simply ignore the mountains of evidence contradicting claims they hold dear or, more commonly, to insult the messenger. For proof look no further than social media. The comment sections of major publications are filled with vitriolic debates in which participants double down on their disproven assertions and viciously label their detractors as somehow deceitful for questioning a claim. Personal posts often evolve into all-out war. Quotes and statistics are met with rebuttals of “Fox News” or “racist,” source-shaming and accusations of bigotry being the last refuge of the weak-minded (I myself have been accused of being a Russian bot no less than a thousand times). Not so long ago ceding the point was considered the mark of a decent human being. But the times they have a’ changed, and these days decency sadly plays second fiddle to a dent in one’s pride or, more likely, one’s political perspective. In America’s current hyperpartisan state, the thinking seems to be that so long as your cause is just, the truth is irrelevant. Perhaps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it best when she lamented that “… there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” “Lot” is a subjective term, but regardless of the actual number there is little doubt it’s a population in stark decline. And politicians and their co-conspirators in the mainstream media are doing the poaching. Consider Candace Owens’ recent exchange with Representatives Ted Lieu and Jerry Nadler, in which the former purposely misrepresented Owens’ views on nationalism, after which the latter scolded her for courageously calling out Lieu’s deception. As the footage clearly shows it was Owens who was factually correct, but because her morals contradict the modern left’s the two “gentlemen” representatives felt no need to acknowledge their disingenuity. But what do we expect? After all, Lieu and Nadler are both members of the same Democrat cabal that assured us, for two years, that Robert Mueller’s report investigating foreign interference in the 2016 Presidential election would bring down the Trump administration. When it failed to do so Mueller’s former cheerleaders transformed, overnight, into naysayers. They knew well that their minions in the media wouldn’t hold them accountable for their flip floppery, as they too were instrumental in the long con. From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to CNN’s Don Lemon, primetime talking heads insisted that perhaps the most thorough political investigation in ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By Greg Jones
    3 days ago
  • The Good of Impeachment Would Be…?
    All right, then, impeachment — a matter resting on the national dining table in plain view. Who wants to cut into and serve it? Rep. Maxine Waters does. “What more do (Democrats) need to prove?” she inquires in the aftermath of the Mueller report’s release. The value of impeachment, a double-edged weapon — no less likely to cut the wielder than the victim, the purpose of a national row louder and more divisive than we’ve been in for decades — here’s what needs proving, it seems to me. We have some ways to go here. Notice the progression of moves when it comes to impeachment. First, the House of Representatives, controlled by Waters’ party, draws up and introduces articles of impeachment. The real fun begins here. Battle over the articles commences, Democrats accusing Donald Trump of Lord-knows-what all by the time the cannonading commences, Republicans answering in kind. Then the call for a vote. All in favor! All opposed! Either the thing passes or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t (due to Democratic defections from the Waters enterprise), the Democrats gain nothing from the whole circus. They’ll have wasted their own time as well as the nation’s. Say it does pass, consequently winding up before the Republican-controlled Senate, which has (I wouldn’t say “enjoys”) the constitutional power of making the final decision — to convict or not convict. How would we reckon the chances of conviction and removal of the president, after a Senate debate of boiling intensity, marked by mud-slinging both on the pro-Trump and the anti-Trump side? I myself would put the chances at something like minus-25. This is notwithstanding the anti-Trumpian virulence of Mitt Romney — lusting, perhaps, for the redemptive opportunity of another go at winning the White House. Who can truly tell? Then, in any event, where are we? What are we trying to do here? Clean up the presidency — only a few months before the constitutionally scheduled election of 2020? When the voters can make their own choice — Trump or Biden or Harris? Even O’Rourke, Castro or Buttigieg? — it couldn’t be, could it, that the proponents of impeachment just desire to smear some egg on Republican faces? In that event, or in any other event that intersects the impeachment brouhaha, we would have to ask how America comes out on top in this thing. Is the president’s personal behavior any less edifying than that of Bill Clinton the last time we went through this regurgitating exercise? The substantive worth of such a controversy as Waters desires to engage us in is, I would venture, marginal. The Mueller report sweeps aside imputations of disloyalty and possible treason based on supposed collaboration with the Russians in 2016. From the pile of accusations about Trumpian rants and rages over “witch hunts” staged by “fake news” outlets, and the resistance put up by White House staffers to potentially damaging presidential initiatives, no really damning details emerge — just more evidence that Donald J. Trump is a ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, April 23, 2019By William Murchison
    3 days ago
  • Losers, Welded Together
    There is a quite obvious conclusion to be drawn from the release Thursday of the Mueller report — namely, that the entire investigation undertaken by special counsel Robert Mueller over the allegation that President Trump’s campaign was in cahoots with the Russians and therefore engaged in treason was a made-up ruse for the purpose of weaponizing the government against the candidate of an opposition party. Mueller found no evidence not just of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but between Russia and any American citizens. The report did uncover evidence of meddling by Russia in the 2016 election, which was anything but surprising — there has been Russian meddling in American elections since the Russian Revolution of 1917. But after almost two years and millions of dollars spent, the lack of any substance behind the Trump-Russia meme the Democrat Party has staked its political future on should shock every American to the core. We now know that the Obama administration engaged in an abuse of power which makes Watergate look like a third-rate burglary. It colluded with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to use paid-for opposition research the latter knew or at least highly suspected was a pack of lies to fraudulently obtain FISA warrants to spy on guiltless American citizens, and it participated in a counterintelligence frameup to provide a pretext for prosecuting an unwitting Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos, who was fed a rumor that Russia hacked Clinton’s emails and ultimately spent 14 days in jail after being caught in a perjury trap over his having regurgitated the rumor to another party. It’s not an overreaction to see this horrific and dastardly abuse of power as the most dangerous scandal in American history. Watergate, Teapot Dome, Iran-Contra — none of them cut so deeply into the framework of our constitutional traditions with so much corruption at the highest levels. It is this recognition which should dominate the reaction to the Mueller report. Not just that it found no evidence of collusion but the abusive attempt at a frame-up lying under the entire investigation, which is now laid bare for anyone willing to see it. And yet the NeverTrump faction within the Republican Party refuses to recognize the frightening corruption of the Obama-Clinton axis it’s now impossible to ignore. On Friday, Mitt Romney — the junior senator from Utah and the failed 2012 GOP presidential nominee — issued forth his reaction to the Mueller report: It is good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President of the United States with having conspired with a foreign adversary or with having obstructed justice. The alternative would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on. Even so, I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, April 22, 2019By Scott McKay
    4 days ago
  • The Problem with Sanctions: Feel Good Versus Effective Policy
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Colombia to strike a Reaganesque pose when he called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to open a bridge to allow entry of humanitarian aid. The effort fell flat. The bridge didn’t offer much of a backdrop, certainly not one comparable to the Berlin Wall, where President Ronald Reagan memorably urged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall.” Moreover, Maduro didn’t pay the slightest notice to Pompeo. In contrast, Gorbachev almost certainly took note of Reagan. After all, the former had begun dismantling the totalitarian system’s worst oppressions. Indeed, in the end Gorbachev essentially did as asked by simply announcing that the Red Army would remain in its barracks, leaving East Germany’s leaders on their own. The biggest difference, however, is that Reagan made a demand that was plausible and grew out of their growing relationship. Ronald Reagan’s determination and optimism together helped create an international environment that invited the USSR’s collapse. But Mikhail Gorbachev also was a critical player. Reagan rightly judged that his Moscow counterpart just might be the man to lower the most brutal symbol of the Evil Empire. In contrast, Pompeo doesn’t talk to Maduro. The American secretary of state doesn’t even consider Maduro to be president any longer. The latter is simply expected to concede defeat and quit. Yet Maduro has no inclination to surrender. He is no humanitarian, and cares not at all about his nation’s continuing implosion. And where would he go? Enjoy poverty with his fellow dictators in Cuba? Most important, Maduro seems to be winning. Since the administration recognized the National Assembly’s Juan Guaido as president, Pompeo, and the administration that he serves, have offered mostly words. But there isn’t much else to do. Military action was never a good option. War always should be a last resort, limited to protecting vital interests, most obviously where America is under attack. Venezuela, however, is a tragedy, not a serious security interest. Sanctions are effective only in making the already poor worse off. Those in power do best avoiding the worst effects. Trying to save the nation by destroying its economy and society is a dubious venture anywhere. In Venezuela it appears to be ineffective as well. Yet sanctions appear to be the administration’s policy de jure, irrespective of impact. Two years ago the president reversed much of President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba. He demanded that Cuba implement democracy and liberty, worthwhile objectives to be sure, but ones no self-respecting communist government would allow. More recently he imposed new penalties to punish Havana for doing what it has been doing for years, supporting the Chavez and then Maduro dictatorships. Since in better days Caracas helped keep the Castro regime afloat, the latter is unlikely to apologize and bring its enforcers home from Venezuela. Indeed, Cuban communism survived far worse — nearly six decades of U.S. embargo ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, April 22, 2019By Doug Bandow
    4 days ago
  • Parents Should Be Able to Put Kids in Safe Schools
    Florida, a leader in school choice, is addressing the bullying epidemic in the Sunshine State’s public schools by allowing parents to transfer their children to safer schools. Evidence shows bullying is the number-one disciplinary problem in public schools, with more than six million kids affected annually. Furthermore, federal statistics indicate approximately 945,000 of bullied students likely missed school at least once in the past month because they were too afraid to attend. In 2018, Florida implemented the Hope Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to families of children who have been bullied so they can transfer to safer schools. When it was passed, the Hope Scholarship program was the first of its kind nationally. In 2019, Colorado and Kansas are considering similar programs, in the form of Child Safety Accounts. Under the Hope program, parents can transfer their child to another public school or apply for a scholarship to an eligible private school if their child has been bullied or physically attacked in public school. The state funds the scholarships through voluntary contributions from automobile purchases. Some school choice opponents claim the Hope Scholarship program is an invitation to rip off taxpayers for an extra school subsidy. However, the scholarship’s current maximum value of $7,111 is less than 78 percent of the amount spent per public school student. In other words, the subsidy would be greater if the bullied student stayed in the public school, not the other way around. Although the Hope Scholarship only has about 125 recipients so far, the public education establishment is already searching for ways to stifle the program. Public school officials contend the state doesn’t properly verify bullying complaints before allowing parents to apply for the scholarship. After local school districts called for a substantiation process, the Florida Education Department issued a memo that directed local school districts to back off and follow the law. Although it might seem as if school district officials have a point, consider this: Bureaucrats protect their turf. They don’t like anything that challenges or disrupts the systemic status quo. In contrast, most parents protect their children. They want them to be safe and to have the opportunity to learn in a safe school. Furthermore, school districts’ rigorous red tape is a well-documented killer of education innovation. Among the few positive qualities of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was its attempt to provide tutoring services and public-school options for students stuck in chronically lousy schools. However, many districts (Chicago among them) failed to inform parents of these opportunities in a timely manner, thereby safeguarding the status quo. NCLB’s successor, the Every Student Achieves Act (ESSA), is even worse. Under the Unsafe School Choice Option, ESSA permits students to transfer to public schools considered safer. However, families can only do so after state bureaucrats have designated their school “persistently dangerous.” Because that process can take years, only about 50 of ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, April 22, 2019By Robert Holland
    4 days ago
  • Anti-Trump Crazies Urge Impeachment on Cringing Dems
    The Democrats, having unwisely invested enormous political capital in the ability of special counsel Robert Mueller to produce some pretext for impeaching President Trump, now face a choice between two evils. Most of the legacy media, the far left wing of their own caucus, and an obsessive megadonor all insist that Mueller provided enough ammunition for impeachment. But recent surveys, including new polls conducted after the full Mueller report was released, show that most voters are against ousting Trump. Consequently, the Democrats will inevitably be forced to alienate some crucial constituency no matter which course they choose on impeachment. The most difficult to appease may be the Fourth Estate. From the big dailies to the major broadcast and cable outlets to the most widely read blogs, the journalistic malpractice that plagued Russiagate continues unabated despite the collapse of the collusion hoax and the absence of evidence that the President committed obstruction of justice. Since the Mueller report was released, the New York Times ran a column titled, “In a Functional Country, We Would Be on the Road to Impeachment,” the Week published a piece titled, “The president must be impeached,” and the Washington Post ran an op-ed titled, “Why impeachment is imperative.” The latter effusion begins as follows: Democrats’ fear of a backlash at the polls is no reason to avoid their constitutional responsibility to begin a formal impeachment proceeding against President Trump. This is a complex decision, but given the evidence presented in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, it is not a difficult one. The special counsel did not have a pathway to hold Trump accountable for obstruction of justice. Congress does. This was penned by Donna F. Edwards, a former congresswoman who represented Maryland’s 4th District for five terms. Which brings us to the far left Democrats, most of whom share a luxury with Edwards that not many caucus members enjoy — they are impervious to the will of the voters. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, announced last Thursday that she would sign onto Rep. Rashida “Impeach the motherf**ker” Tlaib’s impeachment resolution. AOC’s Bronx district is so solidly Democratic that, as Nancy Pelosi recently put it, “This glass of water would win with a D next to its name.” That, of course, makes it easy for AOC to take the “principled” position: Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President.… While I understand the political reality of the Senate + election considerations, upon reading this DOJ report, which explicitly names Congress in determining obstruction, I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate. Most of AOC’S colleagues will, however, need to demonstrate that they amount to more than half empty vessels to retain their seats in 2020. This is particularly true of the freshman representatives who narrowly won their seats in districts previously held by Republicans. Most of these members ran as moderates and will be vulnerable in 2020 to charges that they were sent ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, April 22, 2019By David Catron
    4 days ago
  • The Democrats’ Fanaticism
    The Democrats, the media, and their sympathizers around the world were so sure that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would quickly end Donald Trump’s presidency that they are still in denial that it won’t. Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, coined a new oxymoron by insisting there was “passive collusion” between Trump and the Russians. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff still insists that evidence of collusion is still in plain sight and Rachel Maddow is still in tears. None of the facts will deter the Democrats from investigating and trying to impeach Trump because their Trump hatred is so deep and so emotional that it has become a fanaticism that wipes everything else off the political slate. Winston Churchill once said that a fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. The Democrats and the media (if you’ll pardon the redundancy) meet that definition perfectly. They are so swept up in their hatred of Donald Trump that, even after the Mueller report gave no grounds for it, more and more of them are calling for more investigations of everything connected to Trump and some are already calling for his impeachment. Our nation has several real crises the Dems choose not to deal with. About one hundred thousand illegal immigrants are coming in every month. That’s a million and a quarter a year. Even Obama’s secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, admits it’s a national emergency. Americans are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq to no avail. States are unprepared for the next round of election interference by the Russians, Chinese and others which is going to make what the Russians did in 2016 seem trivial. The Dems don’t care about any of those things. To them, nothing is as important as investigating and impeaching the president because nothing else can lead to Trump’s defeat in 2020. The Mueller report clearly stated that there had been no conspiracy between Trump, his campaign, his children, or anyone connected to him and the Russians to affect the 2016 election. There was no crime. In fact, although the Mueller report didn’t say so, there was no basis for the two-year investigation. The second part of Mueller’s report, as Mark Levin has said, was a 200-page op-ed denigrating Trump, his White House staff and everyone else in range. Mueller gave ten examples of possible obstruction of justice and — in the most weaselly way possible — said that Congress should investigate them. All doubts that Mueller and his team had an anti-Trump political agenda were erased by one paragraph of his report. It said, “With respect to whether the president can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we conclude that Congress has the authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, April 22, 2019By Jed Babbin
    4 days ago
  • A Few Humble Thoughts
    First of all, about reparations, the notion of paying money to black or partially black Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors from Africa. It’s a beguiling idea. Slavery was so hideous a crime and caused so much pain and suffering that something should be done about it. But we face a lot of problems in the concept of reparations. For one thing, there were a fair number of black people who emancipated themselves through superhumanly hard work, then used their savings to buy slaves. How do we assess their liability? For another, the conditions of slaves varied wildly. Some were house servants and lived halfway decent lives. Others worked like myrmidons in sugar cane fields and were literally whipped to death if they faltered. How do we account for this kind of difference in degree of suffering? For yet another, some moved north immediately and led barely normal lives as did their children and grandchildren. Others stayed in the deep south and were subject to every kind of humiliation. How do we compare how much these two different groups are owed? If a black person voluntarily stayed in a horrible Jim Crow environment, what should be his progeny’s measure of damages as compared with that of the offspring of black people who moved to Des Moines? Also, there is a chain of causation in many cases. One black tribe attacked and captured others then the captors sold their slaves to Arab slave traders who then sold the slaves to New England slave brokers. How do we break down the chain of causation such that each group of exploiters pays its fair share? How would this even remotely be possible in 17th, 18th, and 19th century Africa, Arabia, and America? Where would the records be? Also, who would be taxed for the reparations? The great majority of white Americans never owned any slaves. Why should they be taxed? The present population of America is by a wide margin the scions of Poles and Czechs and Italians and Chinese and Jews who never owned any slaves at all. Why should they be taxed at all for reparations? Next, since we cannot establish culpability for something that was in any event not a legally recognized crime at the time of slavery, wouldn’t a law establishing a penalty for something an ancestor did that was not a crime at the time be a Bill of Attainder, outlawed by the Constitution? Further, there is considerable evidence that the blacks in America often — not always at all — live far better lives than the progeny of blacks who remained in Africa. There is just no comparison. So how do we measure the degree of payment to people whose ancestors’ enslavement — as dreadfully horrible as it was — led to a far better life for their children in Compton or Anacostia? I am sure this is far from the real cause of the issue — to get votes for the Democrat party. But at ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Sunday, April 21, 2019By Ben Stein
    5 days ago
  • The Heroes of the Mueller Report
    Washington Now that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is out, it is time to salute the heroes. Mueller is not among them. He was a hero when he served in Vietnam. During his career as a prosecutor, he won the respect of colleagues who still talk of him as a godlike figure. But in this role, Mueller became living proof that there is such a thing as too much rectitude. Mueller prolonged this investigation when the trail to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians trying to undermine the 2016 presidential election had grown cold and opaque. Of course he did: He’s a federal prosecutor. Mueller saw a surer path for charging President Donald Trump based on alleged acts of obstruction of justice — a path that opened because Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Thus, the enterprise always had a whiff of payback — of the law enforcement empire striking back at the executive who thought he ran the show. The document noted there are many legal issues that make obstruction a murky field. Rather than list the few areas where Trump overstepped, the report presented a laundry list of possible obstruction, starting with the 2016 campaign. Campaign swells suspected WikiLeaks had dirt on rival Democrat Hillary Clinton, and that was OK with them — and somehow that might constitute a crime. And Trump pooh-poohed the notion that Russia was working for his victory — which in the free world shows the exercise of free speech at work. If questioning the Department of Justice’s authority and motives is a crime, Washington will need to build a lot more prisons. As for former FBI Director Comey, whose firing by Trump provided the pretext for naming Robert Mueller as special counsel, he bears a dubious role in this time suck of a story. If Comey had been transparent — if he had taken off his halo long enough to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that Trump himself was not under investigation personally, as he told Trump in January 2017 — there would have been no special prosecutor. Can you blame Trump for smelling a setup? Critics complain the report did not explore the shady smear-campaign origins of the “dossier” funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign and used to justify now discredited theories on Russian collusion. The Justice Department’s inspector general should chime in on that mess in short order. So, who are the heroes? Here’s a nice twist. A lot of them are lawyers such as Don McGahn, the White House counsel who refused Trump’s demand that he fire Mueller. To the contrary, McGahn let it be known that he would resign rather than comply with a foolhardy order that eventually could have cost Trump the White House and ruined the reputations of any minions who caved under pressure. Attorneys John Dowd and Ty Cobb pushed for a full-cooperation strategy that, based on Trump’s now-confirmed belief there was no collusion, persuaded the president to hand over documents to ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Sunday, April 21, 2019By Debra J. Saunders
    5 days ago