American Spectator

  • The Democratic Twenty Plus Three
    Washington Last week I suggested that convicted felons would be running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year. Well, now it looks like that will not be the case. Crazy Bernie suggested a few weeks back that sex offenders and the Marathon bombers should be free to vote, and what is the difference between a felon’s voting for president and a felon’s actually running for the Democratic nomination? They all look the same to Crazy Bernie and doubtless to dozens of other Democratic candidates. But now this reform seems a bit premature. On Friday the Democratic National Committee settled on 20 of the candidates who are running to appear in debates on two separate nights this month, June 26 and June 27. Mark your calendars. Three candidates did not meet the polling and fund-raising criteria. They are Governor Steve Bullock from Montana, the Hon. Seth Moulton allegedly from a congressional district in Massachusetts, and Mayor Wayne Messam from somewhere in Florida (I hope I have spelled his name right). They will perhaps be carrying placards outside the debate venues at the end of the month. So do not count any of them out this early in the race, especially Governor Bullock. The lucky 20 include former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who looks much younger than he did when he first ran back in 1987, Kamala Harris who is very pretty if you will allow me to say so, and a woman named Marianne Williamson whom I do not know. Her picture was included in the 20 pictures that the New York Times ran in its Saturday edition, but I have no idea who she is. Frankly, I would appreciate it if one of my readers could identify her for me. She appeared just to the right of Mr. Andrew Yang, who is apparently an entrepreneur and wants to give everyone in America $12,000 a year. Now the problem for the Democrats remains the problem that I mentioned last week. No candidate wants to disagree with any of the other candidates except perhaps Ms. Williamson, about whom we know nothing. Certainly, l know nothing. This means that there is virtually no way for any of the candidates to distinguished himself or herself from all of the rest. Already their highly paid and skilled strategists are preparing catchy one-liners, which it is hoped will snag attention for their candidates, but each candidate will get no more than 10 minutes and then it is oblivion for the rest of the evening. Possibly former congressman Beto O’Rourke can drop a “F” bomb on President Donald Trump or Senator Kirsten Gillibrand can engage in bathroom humor while denouncing him. Both have inclined in this direction, but off-color language has little effect in a presidential race. Americans still have their standards. My guess is that something more dramatic is necessary to attract the attention of the average Democratic voter. How about one of the candidates becoming sick on stage and continuing to orate until his/her 10 ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
    6 hours ago
  • President Trump Awards Arthur Laffer The Presidential Medal of Freedom
    The White House has announced that President Trump is awarding Dr. Arthur B. Laffer the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19th. That, along with the Congressional Gold Medal, is America’s highest civilian award. It is well deserved. Robert Mundell and Arthur Laffer were Supply-Side Economics’ premier intellectual architects. Supply-Side was roundly mocked by establishment Republicans such as George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s then-rival. Bush memorably dismissed it as “Voodoo Economics.” Most, though not all, Democrats mocked it. Many still do. Who were the Supply-Siders? Jack Kemp was the political principal and Jeff Bell the political pioneer. Jude Wanniski was our Minister of Propaganda, Robert Novak served as the reporter-of-record and Warren Brookes, the columnist-in-chief. Bob Bartley turned “The Page” of the Wall Street Journal into a morally courageous beacon of sanity in stagflation’s darkness. Bob Mundell later collected a Nobel Prize in Economics “for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas.”Businessman/philanthropist Lewis E. Lehrman and Kemp aide John Mueller, the American apostles of Jacques Rueff, prevailed with Kemp in their advocacy of the classical gold standard. And let us recall Supply-Side veterans Charles Kadlec, Alan Reynolds, Paul Craig Roberts, and Steve Entin. And Bruce Bartlett, who later apostatized. Among its titans count publisher and presidential candidate Steve Forbes, George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, “the Bible of Reaganomics,” and Larry Kudlow, now Director of Trump’s National Economic Council. Stephen Moore (with whom I have from time to time been professionally associated) flies the Supply-Side flag high. I was the most junior member of the Supply-Side in its misty origins. What happened? Call me Ishmael, for I only am escaped alone to tell thee. On November 13, 1979 Ronald Reagan officially declared for the presidency. On the day of Reagan’s announcement the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 814. As of this writing the Dow closed at 26,014. That’s not adjusted for inflation or population growth. Still, you get the gist. Reagan campaigned on — while being ridiculed for — Supply-Side Economics. Elected, he put it to good effect. He backed Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s actions to slay inflation. Reagan crusaded for the Kemp-Roth 30% across-the-board marginal tax rate cut. With full bipartisan support, Reagan also cut the top rate from 70% to 28%. And what followed? There are not enough fingers among the thought leadership in Washington to count the 25,200 points the Dow then gained. Moreover, in 1979 world GDP was $11T. Now it’s $83T. A billion people or so arose from abject poverty. Much of this prosperity is due to the worldwide embrace of much of Supply-Side Economics. So what is this much ridiculed, highly successful, thing, Supply-Side Economics? To oversimplify (but not by much), Supply-Side Economics calls for a stable currency. Most of its proponents favored the gold standard to seal the deal. And tax rates are to be kept low. That will maximize economic growth and optimize federal revenue. Tax rates above a certain level — ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By Ralph Benko
    6 hours ago
  • Multiculturalism Is a Nation Killer
    Politics is about power, how to get it and how to keep it. Politics is about mobilizing votes. It should come as no surprise that candidates can say one thing on one day and another on another day because they will say whatever needs to be said to appeal to the electorate. Joe Biden instantaneously flip flops on abortion. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were as much against illegal immigration as is Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton was once against gay marriage. In totalitarian societies, the truth is what the dictator says at any given moment. In democratic societies, the truth is what the mass public wants to hear at any given moment. Faced with the outpouring of civil rights demonstrations in American streets, Kennedy said that he needed to get people off the streets, not that he needed to find dignity for the plight of black Americans. That would come later when it would be palatable to mainstream America. Politics in America is about the competition of interest groups for political power. Once victorious an interest group does not go away; it escalates its demands. The civil rights movement started out with demands for basic human dignity. Once those were met, it legitimately demanded equality of opportunity, and once that was achieved, it demanded preferential treatment where equality of opportunity was redefined, in Orwellian fashion, as equality of result. Flush with success, it now demands reparations where those who never were enslaved will receive compensation from those who never owned slaves, all in the name of virtue and justice. By nature, humans are tribal. Tribalism is the easiest way to organize people and mobilize them politically. Until very recently, America was a multi-ethnic society with a dominant culture. That culture is breaking apart as we become more tribal, and we begin to think of ourselves in terms of tribal loyalties, as reinforced by political elites. Multiculturalism is the great myth of our time. The cliché is, “Our strength is our diversity.” But is it? Military officers sent to Vietnam learned that the enemy’s strength was a homogeneous culture, language, and identity. There is no real multicultural society on the planet that has not tumbled into barbarism or devolution. Whether Lebanon, which institutionalized multiculturalism in its constitution and exploded into ethnic warfare, or Rwanda, where tribalism descended into barbarism, multiculturalism does not work. Switzerland is not a multicultural society. It has different language groups with one strong, unshakeable identity. The Swiss know who they are. Something we seem to be forgetting. Ask the white farmers who are being hunted in South Africa like animals, with the eager justification of some black political elites, if Nelson Mandela’s vision of the rainbow society is working. Minorities will support the idea of multiculturalism as long as it advances their own interests. Consequently, tribalism ironically finds its justification in multiculturalism. In the name of multiculturalism, Muslims want public schools closed on Muslim holidays and halal food in the school cafeterias. Somehow the tribal aspirations of ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By Abraham H. Miller
    6 hours ago
  • The Border Crisis as Opportunity
    Certain media report that the president is considering roundups of non-citizen illegals, with deportation en masse to follow. These reports lack credibility. Until it happens, on the issue of clandestine residents we have played the Charlie-Brown-and-the-kickoff often enough, so forget it. If our mighty federal government cannot deal with what any normal man from Mars would describe as an alien invasion, then we must consider other means of fulfilling the Constitutional requirement of the “common defense.” However, there is something we can suggest as we think about it. While the august and revered branches of our federal government dither and hesitate in their posh and well-guarded surroundings at the expense of the people of this great Republic, we can propose an alternative to the border controls and influx controls that manifestly are beyond the capacity and competence of the federals. Incarceration. Yes, that is the ticket. We can build detention centers. We have plenty of empty space in the distant icy regions of Alaska. Or the arid, warm deserts of our great Southwest. You want to live in America? we say as we put out the welcome mat at the points of entry. Welcome! Pick a card (offer a deck). Red? That sends you to the Hot Zone, please come to this side. Black? You go to the Cold Zone, step over to the other side. Now folks, not to worry. You are being sent to a detention center, otherwise known as a prison, or if you want a camp, a reservation, a gated community. Call it what you want. Why, you can learn some history, including American history, by studying up on the varieties of population control. Reservations… ghettos… concentration camps… Let’s be honest: population control historically has been a grim and often an appalling business. We, as Americans, regard it with distaste and even horror and are not proud of our own contributions to the genre. On the other hand, we are not without historical perspective — at least those of us who consider ourselves serious about what being American means and entails. We do not think history began yesterday and we do not think the day before yesterday is best understood, and surely not best judged, from the perspectives (for they are many and manifold) of today’s weird and weirder political and cultural fashions. On the contrary, we think our ancestors were sometimes in error and resorted to policies, in population control as is other areas, that we would eschew, though not without reasoned and reasonable discussion. We also happen to think our ancestors were often right, however it may be difficult for certain tender sensibilities to admit it, to do things they had to do that we consider might not be done differently, or not at all, today. They did what had to be done in the circumstances, and, more quickly than any other society or nation known to man, they stopped doing it when it was no longer circumstantially necessary or impossible to prevent. We can ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By Roger Kaplan
    6 hours ago
  • Dems’ Agenda: Kill Jobs, Pander to Freeloaders
    Nine Democratic presidential hopefuls, including front-runners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Liz Warren, flocked to the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress on Monday, each trying to out-pander their rivals and promise the most government handouts. It was an alarming spectacle for anyone who works for a living. These Democratic candidates don’t believe jobs are the way to end poverty. For them, “work” is a four-letter word. Their approach is to take money from working stiffs and give it to slackers. Don’t be fooled by the name “Moral Action Congress.” There’s nothing moral about forcing hard-working people to support indolence. One in every five American households already lives entirely or mostly off government benefits. A shocking three-quarters of able-bodied food stamp recipients with no children to care for still don’t work, even part time. President Trump is trying to change that, with new requirements that healthy adults who don’t have to care for family either look for a job, or go to school. In short, get off the couch. Democrats call it “cruel.” Monday’s poverty extravaganza was led by agitators claiming to be disciples of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They’re distorting King’s message. The organizers demand that Uncle Sam guarantee everyone an annual income, free college, free healthcare for all, and a “decent house to live in.” They claim these are “rights.” So does Sanders. But people who work for a living know better. These aren’t rights government owes you. These are things you earn yourself. Forum organizer Rev. William Barber rails that nearly half the nation — 140 million people— are mired in poverty and suffering. That’s a blatant lie, though none of the candidates set the record straight. Truth is, 40 million people — about 12% of the population — earn less than the federal poverty line, which is currently $12,490 for a single person and $25,750 for a family of four. But almost no one actually lives on that. All but 3% collect welfare payments that lift them out of poverty. They depend on government, instead of themselves. Our booming economy is a chance to turn that around and help the poor escape dependence. Employers are dropping requirements like college and prior experience to hire more people. Jobs aren’t scarce. Workers are. Stunningly, no one at the poverty event talked about jobs. When a homeless woman from Washington State asked Kamala Harris for help, Harris proposed expanding subsidies for renters. All the candidates came with a long list of freebies. Biden promised “total health care” for everyone. Warren upped the ante, pledging free childcare for all, free pre-school, free college, and student debt forgiveness. When King declared, “free at last,” that’s not what he had in mind. Far from promoting work, the Dems running for president don’t hesitate to throw millions of Americans out of work. The Dems’ major policy proposals, Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, open borders for illegals, and tax hikes on corporations, are all job killers. Medicare ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By Betsy McCaughey
    6 hours ago
  • Can Congress Help Americans Save for Retirement?
    Despite the legislative gridlock and Washington’s political fixations, legislation is advancing through Congress with bipartisan support that would make it easier for Americans to enjoy financial security when they retire. Presently, too many Americans rely on Social Security for most or all of their retirement incomes, even though the program was originally intended to keep the elderly and disabled from poverty. Today, everyone knows Social Security is not going to be able to support future generations. In other words, to avoid a significant fall in their standard of living when their work life ends, Americans need to save more for retirement. And because of increased lifespans, income from those savings needs to last decades more for future retirees. Unfortunately, many middle-aged, part-time, and lower income workers do not save and invest for retirement. Shockingly, more than one in five working Americans does not have any retirement savings, according to a March 2019 Bankrate survey. The problem is even more widespread among lower income workers. “More than 4 in 10 households (45 percent) earning less than $30,000 per year aren’t saving any money,” states Bankrate. Fortunately, Congress is responding to this problem. By an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of 417 to three on May 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that could improve the retirement prospects for millions of workers. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act would allow more workers to save in tax-advantaged retirement plans, make it easier for small employers to sponsor plans, and broaden the options for individuals to draw on their savings. “If passed, the changes would be the most significant to retirement plans since 2006, when Congress made it easier for employers to enroll workers automatically in 401(k)-type plans and invest their money in funds that shift from stocks to bonds as people age,” reported Anne Tergesen and Richard Rubin in theWall Street Journal. Among the 29 provisions of the bill are measures that would make it easier for small businesses to offer employees tax-deferred retirement savings plans by allowing them to band together to share administrative expenses. The bill would require employers to offer 401(k) plans to part-time workers and would allow businesses to auto-enroll employees at a savings rate of up to 6 percent of their wages or salary, instead of the current 3 percent limit. The SECURE Act would also broaden options for taking distributions from retirement savings by removing the current 70 and one-half year age limit on workers’ contributions to an Individual Retirement Account. The bill would also simplify the paperwork for workers who roll over their retirement savings accounts when they change jobs. The bill raises the age at which individuals are required to begin drawing down their accounts by taking distributions — which are likely taxed at a lower rate — to age 72, rather than the current 70 and one-half years. The legislation would also encourage employers’ plans to offer annuities, which provide a steady lifetime income based on the balance in ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Wednesday, June 19, 2019By Joe Barnett
    6 hours ago
  • New Minnesota Poll Could Spell Bad News for Biden
    Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” A poll of Minnesota voters conducted on June 8-12 by Change Research that has Elizabeth Warren ahead of Joe Biden could represent an important shift in expectations for 2020. If these trends prove to be representative of voters in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses more generally, Sleepy Joe Biden and his Warren G. Harding-esque “Return to Normalcy” campaign may be seeing its moment in the sun coming to an end. Breaking down 1,568 registered voters (of which 772 were reported as “likely 2020 Democratic Primary voters”) over various demographic classifications, the poll shows a narrow preference for Warren over Biden (21% vs. 20%, in sharp contrast to the more common result of Biden handily outpolling his Democratic adversaries). Bernie Sanders additionally comes in with a notable 19%. It is important to note, however, that Sanders defeated opponent Hillary Clinton in Minnesota’s 2016 Democratic Primary by nearly 20%. Three years later and a sustained shift to the Left from the Democratic base, this seeming endorsement of socialism will bode even worse for Biden. The primary conclusion that can be derived from the data collected by Change Research: among Democrat voters, a big thumbs up for both socialism and intersectionality. Warren continues to strengthen her bonafides. Her own creeping tack to the Left has allowed her to steal (or at least co-opt) some of Sanders’ socialist thunder, coming out ahead in a number of Democratic Primary polls (including Nevada). In the Change Research poll, Warren reported higher numbers compared to Biden among subsets of younger voters (ages 18-34 and 35-49) while losing out among older voters. Sanders comes in ahead of both among the younger voter blocks. As the latter tend to view socialism in a more positive light compared to those in later generations, this will have important implications in Democratic Primaries across the nation. In regard to intersectionality, 27% of women voters supported Warren, followed by Biden at 20% with Sanders not even medaling. The opposite was the case for men, with Sanders in first, Biden in second, and Warren finding herself fifth down the list. The one common thread running through both is that for the Minnesota Democrat voters polled here, having a candidate who is pro-socialism is of paramount concern. In a state where Hillary Clinton barely edged out Donald Trump to secure its 10 electoral votes, these numbers are not only significant for Minnesota. As things heat up closer to 2020, Joe Biden will continuously have his record thrown in his face. As he struggles to defend the 1994 Crime Bill, his treatment of Anita Hill, and his flavor-of-the-week stance on abortion, maintaining his current position at the top will be increasingly unlikely. The tug of war between the two socialists will likely determine the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.   ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By Dominick Sansone
    6 hours ago
  • Ohio SB 3 Would be a Big Step for Criminal Justice Reform
    Ohio lawmakers are taking aim at drug sentencing laws. Their ultimate goal is to make drug possession offenses misdemeanors rather than felonies. The bill, SB 3 states, “It is the intent of the General Assembly to develop and enact legislation to reform Ohio’s drug sentencing laws.” It would require the state legislature to get to work on reforming the state’s drug sentencing practices, and is a meaningful step for reform. This has important implications for rehabilitation. A felony drug charge carries a lifetime of consequences that significantly reduce an individual’s ability to participate meaningfully in society. It becomes harder to get jobs, find housing, and do a whole host of other things. These barriers also make it far more likely that someone will re-offend. Being unnecessarily punitive toward people who are drug abusers or addicts, but are not dealers or traffickers, only furthers the cycle, by forcing them further toward the fringes of society. The bill sponsors, John Eklund (R-SD 18) and Sean O’Brien (D-SD 32), first proposed the legislation in February, and it has been through the wringer of Senate Judiciary Committee hearing since then. The sixth set of hearings were held this month. Testifying as a proponent during the bill’s third hearing in the committee, Mark Hyden on behalf of Koch Industries and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce described the laudable intentions of the bill, “We believe SB 3 can effectively address the ineffective and counterproductive trend of incarcerating people with addiction issues. The reclassification of low-level drug possession as a misdemeanor is an important component to better address the addiction crisis. It would help stem the revolving door of people with addictions cycling in and out of state prisons.” This bill’s assertion that the Ohio legislature intends to work toward significant sentencing reform is a major step, but not all involved parties see it as a step forward. During the sixth set of hearings, David Marcelli, of The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, opposed the bill because he believes that changing the status of drug possession charges would cause police to lose leverage in searches that in the past has allowed them to find more serious drug criminals after initial suspicions of possession. There has been significant back and forth during the hearings on the bill, which will hopefully be brought to a vote before the legislative session ends on December 31st. ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By Paige Lambermont
    6 hours ago
  • Sudan Crisis Reveals Shortcomings of Social Media Coverage
    Sudan-related posts taking over Instagram feeds are providing irresistible, effort-free opportunities to make a difference in the world: for nothing more than a few taps on your phone, you can provide a meal to a starving Sudanese child. Unfortunately, the Instagram accounts responsible for the posts, along with dozens of others like them, are fake. There are no meals and no mechanisms for providing aid to Sudan. In fact, the current crisis roiling the country is primarily political and not food-related. Many of the accounts pushing these fake initiatives mishandle basic facts, such as conflating Sudan and South Sudan (where there are indeed famine-like conditions). Nonetheless, these accounts effortlessly accrue thousands of followers and millions of impressions from armchair activists. For the Sudan crisis, precipitated after the Sudanese armed forces deposed longtime strongman Omar Al-Bashir and then threatened to install a military dictatorship, coverage by mainstream outlets has been sluggish and hard to come by. The story is currently absent from the home page of BBC World News as well as the World section of the New York Times, despite mass murder and rape by the Sudanese security apparatus and the fate of a potential democracy hanging in the balance. Stories chosen to be displayed in its place include people being chased by elephants and camera filter mishaps. Mainstream media failure, slacktivist culture, and the impressions-over-depth nature of social media have coalesced into a perfect storm of misinformation and scams. The various aesthetics being employed, from official solidarity profile images to the awareness-for-its-own-sake posts being churned out by the dozen, push it to the point of self-parody. All this is evocative of Kony 2012, the slickly-produced YouTube video about the eponymous African warlord that effectively founded the genre of viral awareness campaigns and which has since become a byword for their impotency: all of the attention paid to Kony amounted to very little, and as of 2019 he is still alive and at large in the forests of Uganda. We can anticipate similar results from all of the liking, retweeting, and reblogging being done on behalf of Sudan. Meanwhile, scammers are having a great time. A playbook is emerging: find a trending slacktivist cause, lie your way into going viral, and then use your newfound audience to peddle your own product or business. The absence of rigorous reporting and informed readers leaves behind only empty hype and cynical exploitation. ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By John Jiang
    12 hours ago
  • Yes, Trump Can Win Again
    There they go again. Today, in Orlando, Florida, President Trump will make his formal announcement that he is indeed running for re-election. And like clockwork, the same un-wisdom that insisted he could never win in 2016 is being trotted out yet again. That un-widsom is, yet again, the polls, the polls, the polls. The headlines scream: Biden beats Trump! Sanders beats Trump! Warren beats Trump! Harris beats Trump! Buttigieg and Booker beat Trump! Right. Recall this headline from the New York Times that ran — yes, indeed — the morning of the 2016 election? Hillary Clinton has an 85% chance to win. Got that? The very morning of the election — not 500-plus days out — the New York Times was telling its readers that Trump had a bare 15% chance of winning. The following day, with Trump now officially president-elect, Politico was headlining this: How did everyone get it so wrong? Polls and predictive models failed to predict Trump’s strength. The Politico story said, in part, this: Everybody was wrong. Again. When Election Day dawned, almost all the pollsters, analytics nerds and political insiders in the country had Hillary Clinton waltzing into the White House. By the time polls had closed nationwide on Tuesday night, those projections had been left in shambles — just like the ones a year ago that all-but ruled out the possibility of Donald Trump winning the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Here’s an entirely different headline in the Orlando Sentinel — from yesterday, Monday. In Orlando, Tuesday — tonight — the President will be in Orlando to make his formal announcement for re-election. The headline: Trump supporters line up 42 hours early for Orlando campaign rally at Amway Center This story began as follows: With tents, sleeping bags and coolers of water in tow, Donald Trump supporters began lining up for Tuesday’s campaign rally in Orlando, nearly two full days before the event. Outside the Amway Center, where President Trump will officially kick off his 2020 re-election bid at 8 p.m. Tuesday, about two dozen people and counting had staked out a spot along Division Street as of Monday morning. “This is the big one,” said Jennifer Petito, 54, of Melbourne. “This is the mother of all rallies.” Petitio, who was wearing a pink “Women for Trump” hat and a red-and-white striped fanny pack, was second in line. She said she got there around 2 a.m. — 42 hours before the rally’s start. The Amway has capacity for about 20,000 people. Trump tweeted Monday that there had been more than 100,000 requests for tickets. People in line said they had been told the first 100 people would get to sit in the front row. City officials had previously said they expected people to start lining up Monday. You would think that by now those supposed wizards of political smarts would have learned — but, alas, not so. Yet with the evidence of Trump’s support right there in Orlando for all to see, the same pollsters who ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By Jeffrey Lord
    1 day ago
  • Basically, Bernie Sanders Is a Communist
    Certain Strong Political Pejoratives Are Thrown Around Viciously, Irresponsibly, and With No Relation to Their Meaning. Responsible people recoil when politically pejorative terms are hurled around. The Left, for example, now calls opponents “Racist!” without any basis. The Southern Poverty Law Center, once an address for identifying true prejudice, now has lost all claim to seriousness by defaming even morally decent, mainstream legal-defense groups like Alliance Defending Freedom as bigots — even as their own conduct has been rife with sexual abuse creating a hostile work environment. On campuses across the country, some professors who cannot be fired, because their academic tenure protects them even when they spout irresponsible and even insane notions, hurl the term “Racist!” at any conservative who comes their way. People who believe in the truth of religious scripture are denounced as homophobes — and, sure, may as well call them “Racist!” too. People who believe that public bathrooms should be individuated by gender are called haters and homophobes — and of course “Racist!” People who condemn Islamic terror are tagged as Islamophobes. Oh, yeah — and “Racist!” The word “Racist!” has no meaning anymore. During the Wasted Obama Decade, Holy War rampages by Arab Muslims on Jihad were called “workplace violence,” but opponents of Obamacare were called “Racist!” When one compares a contemplative reasoned federal judge who is pro-life with David Duke and Adolf Hitler — well, “Racist!” means nothing. Maybe that is the reason that the true racists Al Sharpton, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, etc. — never are called “Racist!” but instead hurl the epithet at others who simply agree with the economic principles of Milton Friedman or the founding principles of the Constitution. There is no end to the outrageous defamation and hyperbolic character assassination. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is tagged as “racist” by Buttigieg, a squirt from South Bend, who quickly has emerged as strangely obsessed with a perception that Israel is one of the world’s greatest problems. President Trump now regularly is tagged as “Racist!” — a term never used against him through the decades upon decades that he was in public life among the New York glitterati, left and right, Democrat and Republican, Clinton and Bush, and even hosted a wildly popular weekly television program on Leftist NBC. He was the darling of late-night talk shows. Jesse Jackson associated with him, Don King, Jim Brown. Suddenly, as he entered a Presidential race and emphasized the need to gain control over the national emergency at our southern border, he was coronated “Racist!” When he saw the chaos and violence and murder at Charlottesville, he forcefully condemned neo-Nazis and White Supremacist extremists, but he also observed that Antifa fascists on the Left also were in the mix and also are despicable, and he correctly distinguished that others among the demonstrators that day were decent people who simply wanted to protect historic monuments to great fallen Civil War heroes like Gen. Robert E. Lee. To this day, the Charlottesville “Racist!” hoax that has ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By Dov Fischer
    1 day ago
  • Archbishop Viganò Confirms Allegations About Monsignor Rossi
    “Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is confirming that, as papal nuncio, he received complaints of homosexual predation and harassment by Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,” reports Christine Niles of Church Militant. Speaking to the Italian journalist Marco Tosatti recently, Viganò said, ”Monsignor Rossi is, without a doubt, a member of the ‘gay mafia.’ You can read about him online on The American Spectator website.” “I can say that, while I was a nuncio in the United States, I received the documentation that states that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America,” according to Viganò. “The Vatican, in particular Cdl. [Pietro] Parolin, is well aware of the situation of Msgr. Rossi, as is Cdl. Wuerl.” “I can finally testify that Rossi’s name was proposed for promotion to my predecessor, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who blocked his progress,” Viganò added. “These facts clearly show how the ‘gay mafia’ operates.” The American Spectator articles to which Viganò refers are “Monsignor Rossi, Wuerl’s Gay Mafioso at the Basilica” and  “The Day of Reckoning for Monsignor Rossi and the Hierarchy.” In those pieces, I reported: A number of alumni from the Catholic University of America (CUA) have told me that Rossi “hit” on them and “groomed” them. In one case, I was told, Rossi asked a CUA student about his gay roommate (with whom Rossi was overly familiar) and insinuated that the three of them should get together for group sex. “Rossi is a gay sexual harasser of CUA students,” said this alumnus to me… “Rossi would groom CUA students,” says a D.C. archdiocesan source. “If they submitted to him, he would reward them; if they didn’t, he would treat them poorly, and if they worked at the Basilica, he would make life miserable for them until they left.” Imitating his boss [Theodore] McCarrick and his old boss [confirmed gay predator Bishop Michael Bransfield], Rossi arrogantly assumed that no member of the faithful would ever dare call him out on his scandalous life. If they could get away with it, he appears to have reasoned, why can’t I? Yet the day of reckoning approaches. Members of the Gay Mafia, of which that trio is emblematic, have exploited the naïveté and docility of the Catholic faithful for years, who are now wising up to that mafia’s grotesque decadence. That day of reckoning is now emerging in the form of whistle-blowing from Viganò, an archbishop and former papal nuncio in the U.S., whose powerful testimony has been consistently vindicated and can’t be dismissed as the carping of a layman. To understand the turbulence and scandal of this period in the Church’s life, clearly one of its most corrupt, future Church historians will rely heavily on Viganò’s testimony. Until Viganò no one that high in the Church had ever provided such specific confirmation of details shedding light on the gay mafia in the Church. Last week Viganò commented to the Washington Post: ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By George Neumayr
    1 day ago
  • The Catastrophic Costs of Weed Culture
    Evidence is beginning to mount that marijuana may cause lasting brain damage, even when used by people in their mid-20s. At a time when politics and culture appear to be increasingly pro-pot—two-thirds of Americans now support legalization—scientists have provided yet another reason to exercise caution. A piece published by the New York Times on Sunday, written by two physicians, warns that repeat use of the popular drug causes measurable IQ declines in young people. Another article published around the same time by the Washington Post raises similar alarms and also links marijuana usage to misuse of nicotine and even opioids. These warnings come at a time when it seems that the United States is barrelling toward total pot legalization. Recreational use of marijuana is already legal in ten states, D.C., and multiple U.S. territories, and medical-only use is permitted in a further 23 states. The Washington Post article suggests that state legalization is exacerbating already-dire drug problems in public high schools. Colleges students, who are old enough to purchase pot but young enough to be hurt by it, have it even worse. Every major candidate running for the Democratic nomination in 2020, with the possible exception of Joe Biden, has endorsed federal legalization at least implicitly — and even Biden is likely to fold once he begins feeling the heat from progressive activists.    That is not to say that the right should necessarily double down and oppose legalization. Whether legalization should be permitted on a state level or even enforced on a federal level is a debate worth having between those on the right with socially conservative sensibilities and those that consider themselves libertarian. For one, the argument that being dangerous to adolescents warrants banning a substance for all adults has relatively few legs to stand on. Furthermore, it appears that leniency has the advantage even among Republicans, with President Trump endorsing bipartisan measures toward clemency for low-level drug offenders. Jeff Sessions, who was for two years the most anti-drug cabinet member in the Trump administration, resigned from his position as Attorney General in late 2018 having mostly failed to impede the momentum toward legalization. If nationwide legalization is inevitable, however, social conservatives still have a role to play in correcting the excesses of progressive thinking. Through internet culture and Hollywood, toking is marketed as an integral aspect of youth culture. Bragging about getting high is now a political strategy for appealing to young voters. Binge drinking is portrayed as antisocial, chain-smoking as unspeakably dangerous, but being a college stoner is often cast as harmless, fun, even profound. Never mind the risk of reduced quality of life and hidden economic damage due to permanently decreased intelligence, poorer memory, and hindered ability to concentrate. Never mind the risk of escalation into opioid use. Using weed is cool, damn the consequences. Whether conservatives should endorse the suggestion advanced in the New York Times piece and push for a legal minimum age of 25 for purchasing marijuana is ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By John Jiang
    1 day ago
  • And We Did It!
    Where do the Hong Kong Chinese get these notions: such as that the right to a fair trial is rock-bottom basic to every democratic concept of justice? And the notion that freedom of speech underpins the whole, so to speak, democratic shooting match? Where’d that come from? From us, that’s where — from the British and their American legatees, in whose minds and historical experience originated the understanding that you can’t let government have its own way, no questions asked; because when and where you do, it’s all over for freedom. You have to have rules. You need procedures and guarantees: constitutions, written (as in the U.S.) or unwritten (Great Britain). According to the rules, you do things in certain and particular ways: the selection of leaders, the writing of legislation, the review of disputes by impartial courts. Which isn’t — not totally — how they do things in today’s Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands march in defense of the rules under which the former British colony prospered for a century and a half. It is inspiring to see these people march. It is urgent to remember why they march. They march for human fulfillment: with the same spirit in which present-day Americans might march should they stop screaming insults at each other and call to mind how much they agree on, when it gets down to brass tacks. Even in a culture riven by strife — guess whose culture? — the principle of liberty under law makes possible human fulfillment in its broadest terms. I did not say it guaranteed anything of the kind. I said it made fulfillment achievable, with generosity and toleration: human attributes of which dictators like Xi Jinping make short work. The defects of human nature, which political figures are always trying to cure, foil the finest schemes of Ultimate Improvement. Ultimate Improvement is what we have always relied on heaven to furnish; but, then, as we know, political figures get no credit for acknowledging as much. With their quest for instant rewards, conferred through elections and polls, we’re all too familiar. At least where the rule-of-law principle prevails, they can’t go completely overboard, as in Communist China, where the only obstacle to the party bosses’ total domination is the bosses’ private sense of what they can get away with. I mean, look. An American Republican would rightly prefer Nancy Pelosi to Xi. An American Democrat, swallowing hard, would rightly give Xi the go-by in favor of Him Who Must Not be Named. Proving what? That democracy isn’t easy? Of course it’s not easy. Consider Hong Kong, whose turmoil stems from a communist initiative, only half-thwarted, to merge that semi-independent territory’s justice system into the dark and inexplicable system under which the rest of China squirms. Not a few American and British, shall we say, Thought Leaders mop brows in mortification over wrongs, fancied or actual, committed by their countrymen in pursuit of national greatness. We need to mark well what those quests for greatness produced ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By William Murchison
    1 day ago
  • Bernie’s (Almost) Good Idea
    What Vox calls Bernie Sanders’s “most socialist idea yet” may instead prove his most capitalist idea. The presidential candidate unveiled a plan to encourage companies to grant employees a stake in the business. Whether this idea comes to fruition as a plan that forces or facilitates employee ownership tells us whether we can call it Sanders’s most socialist, or most capitalist, idea yet. The legislation sponsored by Sanders does not inspire confidence. It launches a new federal bureaucracy and spends billions of dollars toward the end of employee ownership. It is unclear how “acting as a clearinghouse,” “disseminating information,” “the organization of workshops and conferences,” or other provisions of the bill do much to encourage employee ownership. A better way exists, and one that increases rather than helps empty the federal treasury. The tax model preferred by most businesses in the United States remains the limited-liability company (LLC), a legislative construct that originated in Wyoming in 1977. Businessmen like it because it does not impose double-taxation, as experienced by C-corporations, and allows them to pay taxes similar to what an individual filer pays. The downside involves the great difficulty in granting to workers shares of companies taxed as LLCs. In other words, the tax-code discourages employee ownership by making it incredibly difficult in the tax code that governs most businesses in the United States. By taxing all companies as C-corporations, the IRS could help transform workers into bosses. To do this without alienating those who prefer the LLC model, legislators should allow stockholders to exercise options without tax on exercise and gain levied at capital gains rates upon selling them. Employee shares/options should be taxed on death after application of marital deduction and other provisions based on the capital gains tax at the time. Stock options in already public companies could also defer tax at exercise and have gains at capital-gains rates. Founders of private businesses will pick C‐corps over LLCs if double tax on dividends and sale proceeds is eliminated. This may seem more complicated than allocating billions and starting a new Employee Ownership and Participation Initiative within the Department of Labor, as the Sanders legislation proposes. But really it makes life simpler for businessmen and makes the tax code less opaque. Better still, it achieves the objective Bernie Sanders ostensibly wants: more employee ownership. Sanders’s home state trails only North Dakota and Iowa in its percentage of employee-owned businesses. A nonprofit, the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, exists to aid companies looking to transform workers into capitalists in the Green Mountain State. Workers owning the means of production may seem like a Marxist dream. But like so many of Marx’s dreams, reality does not conform to it. “So, for the 1,290 appliances moving in and out of Ritchie Trucking every day, employees see a return when the company is profitable,” The Business Journal reports about a company in Fresno, California. “This has created a culture company-wide where employees have taken it upon themselves to cut costs where they can ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Tuesday, June 18, 2019By Hunt Lawrence and Daniel J. Flynn
    1 day ago
  • The CIA Is Running Scared
    Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency. The article, obviously written at the behest of its intelligence community sources — “current and former American officials” — is the first of many concerted attacks on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the joint CIA/FBI spy operation. Many other articles, based on carefully crafted leaks to the media and Congress, are sure to follow because current and former high-ranking officials of those agencies (and probably the NSA as well) have a lot to lose. John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation. Start with the sourcing: “current and former American officials.” That includes all of the people who were in the Obama White House, Comey’s FBI, Brennan’s CIA, and everyone else who’s ever held a government job in, for example, the Obama White House. The third paragraph says, in part: While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny. Two points are made there and both are clearly wrong. It damned well is an investigation not a “review.” James Comey — probably at the behest of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch — only referred to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s felonious use of a private, unsecured email system as a “matter.” By doing so he tried to exclude the possibility that it was a criminal investigation despite the fact that it very much was one. So is the Barr/Durham investigation. It’s not a “review.” By definition, such an investigation is an investigation into possible criminal actions. The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians. Mueller & Co. had no evidence that a crime had been committed before their investigation began. (Or after, for that matter.) The Mueller investigation was, as I’ve noted elsewhere, consistent with the method used by Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrenti Beria: show me the man and I’ll show you the crime. In the Barr/Durham investigation, it’s pretty damned clear that in their abuse of ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, June 17, 2019By Jed Babbin
    2 days ago
  • Will Roberts Get Rolled on Census Case?
    Sometime during the next two weeks, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling on whether the Census Bureau may include a question in the 2020 census asking if the person filling out the form is a U.S. citizen. If you think that’s a sensible question to ask in a nation whose population swells every year with immigrants from all over the planet, that means you’re in step with 60 percent of registered voters. It does, however, put you at odds with the Democrats, various leftwing activist groups, and an Obama-appointed judge in New York. Enter SCOTUS. The Supreme Court took up the case early this year and heard oral arguments on April 23. It’s always difficult to predict a SCOTUS ruling by analyzing the questions asked by the justices during these hearings, but most Court watchers came away with the impression that the “conservative majority” would rule in favor of the Trump Commerce department. At which point, the Democrats did what they always do when they fear they are about to lose a Supreme Court Case — they sought some way to intimidate Chief Justice John Roberts. The ACLU came to their rescue: The ACLU asked the Supreme Court to wait until the fall to decide if it will reject or allow the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. We requested the Supreme Court send the case to a lower court to consider new evidence showing the question was added for political purposes. The “new evidence” consists of some information found on the hard drive of a Republican consultant named Thomas Hofeller. This fortuitous discovery allegedly shows that advisers to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discussed the citizenship question with Hofeller and is thus inconsistent with the sworn testimony of department officials concerning the real purpose of the census question. Never mind that it isn’t unethical or unusual for political appointees to consult with outside experts. The idea is to make Chief Justice Roberts worry about appearances. The Washington Post did its bit to support that effort in a Sunday article titled, “Chief justice assures the Supreme Court is apolitical. He’s facing his next big test.” The author, Robert Barnes, inevitably reminds us that Roberts admonished President Trump last fall for criticizing an “Obama judge.” Adopting his most schoolmarmish tone, the Chief Justice fumed, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” Barnes suggests that Roberts will have failed to live up to his own prim standards if he doesn’t adopt the role of a centrist: Roberts sits physically at the middle of the bench in the grand courtroom and now, for the first time since he joined the court in 2005, at the center of the court’s ideological spectrum. With the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy last summer, the most important justice on the Roberts Court became Roberts himself. Barnes evidently believes that Roberts’ primary job as Chief Justice is to maintain an ideological balance rather ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, June 17, 2019By David Catron
    2 days ago
  • Mr. Biden: President Trump Is an Existential Threat to Your Legacy and Obama’s, Not to National Security
    In a recent Iowa speech former U.S. Vice President and Democrat presidential aspirant Joe Biden claimed President Donald Trump and his policies are an existential threat to Americans. It seems quite odd that he would say such a thing, especially since many security-conscious Americans consider the Obama/Biden administration’s eight-year foreign policy record a colossal failure, which threatened Americans and tens of millions of others. In 2008, then Senator and Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama chose Senator Biden to be his presidential running mate. Obama considered Biden, with his 36-year U.S. Senate tenure, a leading foreign policy authority as well as a seasoned legislator and Washington hand well-experienced in D.C. ways. Before leaving office, President Obama awarded Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service to country and his administration. When they took office in January 2009 many Americans believed the Obama/Biden administration would offer the country a welcome change in direction from the previous George W. Bush administration and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars which consumed it. Consequently, it raised expectations for a better and safer world, not only for Americans but everyone else. During their administration, Obama and Biden followed their global worldview impulses and displayed a willingness to make greater use of the United Nations and other international institutions in resolving the world’s most difficult problems. The centerpiece of their foreign policy and national security strategy was “strategic patience,” a concept built around not immediately reacting to global crises, and instead, looking to the international community to resolve them. How well did the Obama/Biden approach work? The 2016 U.S. Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment provides a glimpse of what the world looked like after eight years of pursuing Obama/Biden administration policies. It isn’t a pretty picture. For example, the Obama/Biden administration’s U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, briefed Congress on the security threats identified by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. Mr. Clapper, among other things,reported: Violent extremists were operationally active in about 40 countries. Seven countries experienced a collapse of central government authority, 14 others faced regime threatening or violent instability or both. And another 59 countries faced a significant risk of instability. There were more Sunni violent extremist groups, members, and safe havens than at any time in history. The rate of foreign fighters traveling to the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq in the past few years was without precedent. At least 38,200 foreign fighters — including at least 6,900 from Western countries — traveled to Syria from at least 120 countries since 2012. The Iranian Shiite regime continued to be the foremost state sponsor of terrorism and exerted its influence in regional crises in the Mid-East through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds Force. And its terrorist partner Lebanese Hezbollah remained a continuing terrorist threat to U.S. interests and partners worldwide. North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test; China continued to modernize its nuclear missile force and is striving for a secure, second-strike capability; Russia continued to have the largest ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, June 17, 2019By Fred Gedrich
    2 days ago
  • The Orwellian Attack on Section 101
    Imagine the following scenario: You spend your life slaving away at building some ingenious new device in your garage. After years of painstaking work, testing, and sleepless nights, you finally produce your device, patent it, and take it to market. However, before you can take it to market, someone serves you with a lawsuit. Another person has apparently “patented” the machine you just built, and even though they’ve never put one second into developing it, they claim to own the product of your work. But, they say, if you just pay them a few thousand dollars, they’ll go away and not threaten your business. Being someone with pride, who doesn’t approve of protection rackets, you tell them to stuff it. So, you fight. And wouldn’t you know it, you take your case to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office USPTO), and their Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finds that the “patent” you’re being sued over isn’t valid. The trial lawyers who tried to extort you slink away for the day. But then, they come back with a different “patent.” You see, your machine includes one part that spins, and they have a patent for “spinning metal things” that you now have to contest before you can take your world changing invention to the market. Under modern patent law, this second lawsuit would get slapped down so fast that it would make your head spin. But, thanks to the patent snowflakes among America’s trial lawyers, who find any judgment on the merits of their bogus patents triggering, and thanks to enablers of theirs in Congress, that may soon cease to be the case. This is because the lawyers and their corrupt friends have come up with a way to do an end-run not just around the numerous Supreme Court cases that have smacked them down over and over, but around one of the key, foundational tenets of American patent law. That tenet is expressed in Section 101 of the Patent Act, passed in 1870, which states: Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title. The relevant phrase here is “new and useful,” a set of requirements that seems commonsensical, but that in actuality provides the basis for distinguishing patents for genuine inventions from mere pieces of paper meant to prop up lawsuits over unenforceable nonsense. In other words, it’s what prevents someone from simply patenting “spinning metal things,” which is neither a new invention nor, by itself, a useful one. In practice, this means that Section 101 is for frivolous patent litigants what Room 101 is to dissidents in George Orwell’s 1984: the equivalent of being broken by their worst fear. It’s no surprise, then, that trial lawyers and vampiric patent-holding companies known colloquially as patent trolls, hate Section 101 with a passion and want to defang it. And, ironically, Sens. Chris ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Monday, June 17, 2019By Mytheos Holt
    2 days ago
  • They Didn’t Do It for Medals
    “Only you — only you! — could manage to get shot in the ass!” The year was 1987. A group of middle-aged men sat under the umbrellas at the cheap fiberglass tables of the Holiday Inn in Columbus, Georgia not far from Fort Benning. They deserved a Ritz-Carlton, but this would have to do. The sign out in front of the hotel, the letters hanging somewhat askew, read: WELCOME 8TH AIRBORNE RANGER COMPANY The comment about taking an unfortunate enemy round in the gluteus maximus was an affectionate jab from one member of the company to another, and it was met with howls of protest and laughter. “Son,” a grizzled old veteran said gripping my shoulder while the other men tried to interrupt him. “Hush! Hush!” he said to them in mock annoyance before turning back to me. “I mean it went in one cheek and came out of the other just as neatly as could be! No bone, just flesh!” The index finger of his right hand poked one of his own cheeks while the thumb of his left hand moved up and out on the other side, indicating the bullet’s exit. The conversation turned to a man with an even more unfortunate war wound. “I tell ya, he thought his life with the ladies was over.” The other men listened expectantly for the ending of a story they knew well. “There was so much blood, we feared he had been gut shot! But, nooo!” “No!” bellowed another, like a member of the choir in a good Pentecostal church. The teller of the story continued: “So, I pull his pants down and guess what? It was just nicked!” Again, howls of laughter. My father finished the story: “We just told him he’d have a good story to tell when it came to explaining how he got that scar.” Men wiped their eyes and guffawed. This was a reunion of the 8th Airborne Ranger Company, or what remained of it. The end of the American spear in Korea 1950-51, they were the handpicked elite from all airborne and subsequent Ranger units. Not surprisingly, 8th Company had the highest qualification scores in the history of the Ranger Training Command (RTC). Over the course of that weekend, the Ranger School at Fort Benning would honor them with a demonstration of modern Ranger skills and tactics. The latest generation of Rangers would rappel from helicopters, make a practice jump, and tour them around Benning, the place where 8th Company was born in 1950. And, not coincidentally, it was where I was born. The men of 8th Company were much older now and not as lean as the men — boys, really — who appeared in the photos from 1950-51. Most carried extra weight around the middle, had the leathery skin that came with years of overexposure to the sun, and old tattoos that had purpled with age on biceps and calves that were not as hard and chiseled as they once were — but you didn’t try to ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Sunday, June 16, 2019By Larry Alex Taunton
    3 days ago
  • Now Might Be a Really Good Time for Jehovah’s Witnesses to Start Voting
    In one memorable scene from The Lord of the Rings, the shield-maiden Eowyn says, “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.” It’s written as a female-empowerment moment, but it’s also good self-defense advice for everybody: simply because you decide to be peaceful doesn’t mean your enemies will. This anecdote comes to mind with the news of persistent, organized, relentless attack on religious freedom — and Christianity writ large — by secular-leftist, so-called “progressives,” galling evidenced most recently by their refusal to even say the word “Christian” to describe the recent Islamist terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. To help fight back, there’s one group whose political support people of faith urgently need: Jehovah’s Witnesses. The church shares values comparable to other conservative Christian faiths, but has a stance of absolute political neutrality, meaning members don’t run for office or even vote. But if they did, enemies of faith might not be so bold. Secular-leftists have derided and attacked religion for years on college campuses, but that trend has now contaminated leftist-controlled mainstream media and even the mainstream Democratic Party. Prominent members of the party now freely and openly attack religious schools, pillory public figures for their religious affiliations, undermine historical preservation, push “Ban the Bible” laws in the name of being “anti” discrimination. The American Civil Liberties Union have long since abandoned religious freedom and Planned Parenthood conspires to force churches to pay for abortions. Their profit motive is easy to see: there are a lot of lawsuits they can’t file because they’re protected by that pesky Constitution. One wouldn’t have thought that the basic foundations of our democracy could come under attack — certainly not by those who ironically call themselves “Democrats” — but here we are. So-called progressives have particularly focused their attacks on Catholicism — such as the baseless attacks on children from Covington Catholic School in January. If they feel comfortable attacking Catholicism, how will they treat smaller faith groups with much less clout? Jehovah’s Witnesses have a history of standing up to tyrants: when their faith refused to support Hitler’s National Socialist (or Nazi) movement, many Witnesses were sent to their doom in concentration camps. Commendable: standing up to Hitler is a pretty impressive line item to put on anyone’s résumé. While it would be overblown (and cliché) to compare modern secular-leftists to Nazis — no matter how power-hungry they are — it would not be out of line to suggest that they must be likewise opposed. Because the assault on our values isn’t restricted to the left’s religious bigotry, but also includes disturbing trends like the normalization of pedophilia, depriving parental rights over transgenderism, and the new trend of Blue State abortion-upon-birth. The injunction “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” is a masterful motto for the separation of church and state… but it’s presaged on the idea that Caesar won’t take something that isn’t his. One reason for Witnesses’ political neutrality is so — in their own ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Sunday, June 16, 2019By Jared Whitley
    3 days ago
  • The Deficit in Media Questioning
    Washington Trade secret: We in the news media often hate the media, too. I had such a moment Tuesday at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s annual summit when CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju interviewed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The topic was supposed to be “fiscal sustainability” — a Washington phrase for curbing spending and slowing the growth of the $22 trillion debt. Deficit spending affects every American in the pocketbook. The federal debt is an IOU that amounts to $49,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Still, Raju barely touched on the subject. The CNN reporter began with a question about President Donald Trump’s remarks from Normandy, where world leaders had gathered to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Trump — reacting to a Politico report that Pelosi told her caucus she wanted to see Trump “in prison” — told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that Pelosi was a “nasty, vindictive horrible person” and a “disgrace.” “What bothers me is that we’re talking about that instead of how to reduce the national debt,” Pelosi responded, as she criticized Trump for being overly political while overseas. Raju followed up with a question wondering how Pelosi can work with someone who insults her. “I just consider the source,” Pelosi countered. Here’s the short version of Raju’s other questions: Do you think Trump should be in prison? Why aren’t you for impeachment? Would you support impeachment if the majority of Democrats supported impeachment? You believe he committed crimes in office, right? So isn’t it your obligation to pursue impeachment? When Raju asked about Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico, Pelosi offered that she would have declined to come to the event if she had been invited to discuss Trump. The audience clapped in approval. Around minute 18, Raju asked: “Right now, the debt is like $22 trillion. How come dealing with the national debt in a serious way is not a bigger priority with this Congress?” It was an odd question coming from someone who didn’t think the debt was important enough to address in the first half of a talk that was supposed to be about the federal government’s unsustainable spending trajectory. Pelosi faulted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by the GOP Congress and signed by Trump in December 2017, for adding $2 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office predicted the measure would increase the projected deficit by $1.9 trillion through 2028. When Raju asked Pelosi if she supports “Medicare for All” and the New Green Deal — the latest fashion in left-leaning policy — Pelosi responded, “Everything is on the table to be reviewed, but what I do support is pay as you-go.” Pelosi did not offer exactly how she would pay for those massively expensive programs. But at least there were two spending questions in the half-hour debate. Otherwise, there were so many things not to like — the obsession with Trump, a clear bias against the ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Sunday, June 16, 2019By Debra J. Saunders
    3 days ago
  • Jordan Peterson Is Taking the Fight to Big Tech
    Jordan Peterson, New York Times best-selling author and vocal advocate of free speech, says he will be launching a new social media platform that is free of restrictive censorship. With a terms of service predicated on free-speech policies, ThinkSpot (sign up for a Beta invite here) will seek to provide a voice for any and all, regardless of politics or viewpoint.
    Per the Joe Rogan podcast this week, I’m backing a new platform called thinkspot, currently in Beta. Get on the waitlist here, exciting announcements coming very soon. https://t.co/3xQ78Iqc0h — Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) June 10, 2019 As a subscription service, ThinkSpot will also allow users to monetize their content and thus fill the vacuum created by Big Tech’s admonishing treatment of voices outside the Leftist mainstream. Coming on the heels of social media site Pinterest’s indefinite blocking of pro-life group Live Action under a “pornography block list”, the announcement couldn’t seem to be at a more opportune time. This type of behavior shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following the increasingly tyrannical oversight of tech companies on the content that is shared through their platforms. This type of behavior is what initially prompted Peterson to begin exploring possible alternatives to the current social media landscape as early as December 2018. After Patreon, a crowdfunding website, banned user Carl Benjamin (or Sargon of Akkad as he is known online) for engaging in what it determined was hate speech – even though it happened on YouTube, a platform not owned by Patreon – Peterson decided he had had enough. Indicative of what he saw as a larger phenomenon of Big Tech moderating its platforms so as to censor any material it personally deemed outside the bounds of acceptable discourse, Peterson along with political commentator Dave Rubin announced their leaving of Patreon. They also vowed to begin exploring the feasibility of launching some type of alternative platform free of arbitrary censorship. Enter ThinkSpot. “Once you’re on our platform we won’t take you down unless we’re ordered to by a US court of law,” Peterson explained. Good news for those who wish to express viewpoints outside the corridors of university gender studies departments. One feature of the sight worth noting is the fresh approach on the user comment section. Limiting each comment to a maximum of 50 words, the idea is to require that user’s invest more thought into their responses. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll,” according to Peterson. Some users will of course work hard to encapsulate heinous and vile remarks within that word limit. As remedy, the site potentially offers a voting feature in which comments receive either upvotes or downvotes, requiring viewers to click on those receiving more of the latter than the former in order to view the content. The main challenge is in creating enough of a user base to make the site a viable endeavor. The tech giants currently reign supreme in the ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Saturday, June 15, 2019By Dominick Sansone
    3 days ago
  • Cato: Sanctions Impediment to North Korean Peace, Aid  
    At a recent Cato Institute conference, speakers from various NGOs discussed their efforts to assist desperately impoverished civilians in North Korea and the challenges that they face due to the various sanctions imposed on the country. The event was moderated by Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at Cato and a frequent contributor to The American Spectator. One of the recurring issues mentioned by the speakers was the impact of international sanctions and restrictions, spearheaded by the United States, on aid efforts. Daniel Jasper of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) related his organization’s struggles with the bureaucracy associated with recent American travel restrictions. AFSC, which provides aid shipment to North Korea, has also seen its efforts seriously hampered by various sanctions imposed since 2017, particularly on certain metals. The organization has been constricted to shipping “strictly food and medicine”, according to Mr. Jasper, and many vital medical items that contain metal such as hypodermic needles face punishing restrictions. It now takes months and expensive legal counsel for relief efforts to get through sanctions. These frustrations were echoed by Heidi Linton of the Christian Friends of Korea, who spoke of the “unintended impact” of sanctions on civilians living under the Juche dictatorship. Linton described how vital farm equipment is breaking down due to a lack of replacement parts. “The sanctions have given us a workload perhaps ten times what it was pre-2017,” she said. Critics of sanctions generally contend that they hurt the innocent civilians of countries more than their leadership or government. In North Korea’s case, sanctions could be adjusted fairly easily to accommodate humanitarian groups without abetting the Kim regime or its military and nuclear programs. Speaking on recommendations for the US government, Mr. Jasper recommended creating a “white list” that would include “goods and services required for humanitarian purposes.” Besides benefits for ordinary North Koreans, greater consistent access to the country is also a possible path to peace. “All of the mistrust that Americans have for North Korea is mirrored by North Koreans,” Randall Spadoni of World Vision told the conference. “For 15 years… we’ve been able to develop greater relationships within the country.” Propaganda ensures that North Koreans see the United States as a monolithically hostile power and their government as their sole protector. Reform is unimaginable until these misconceptions are dispelled, and that may need to be done one charity worker at a time. From a strategic perspective, the relaxing of sanctions will be a necessary component of any path that the Trump Administration takes toward peace with North Korea. Mr. Bandow, the event moderator, has argued repeatedly in this magazine for a grand bargain in which the US withdraws its military presence in South Korea in exchange for the North’s denuclearization. If Kim gives up his weapons, the US should commit to ending interference in Korea, both militarily and economically. It would be for the good of North Koreans and the world. Watch a recording of the conference here. ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Saturday, June 15, 2019By John Jiang
    3 days ago
  • Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act: Making Washington Squeal
    Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is on a mission: to expose the wasteful government spending that balloons the federal deficit and provides nothing of value to taxpayers. Her Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act (S.565), introduced in February 2019, promises to do just that. The Act, which she cosponsors along with Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Rand Paul (R-KY), requires the creation of an annual report that lists all federally-funded projects which exceed their budget by over $1 billion dollars, or are at least 5 years behind schedule. The Act provides several helpful examples of projects which have become “bottomless money pits for taxpayer dollars.” The California bullet train is perhaps the epitome of a boondoggle. Thanks to poor planning and a lack of accountability, the project is now 13 years behind schedule and $44 billion over-budget. The train network, in addition to misusing billions of Californian and federal tax dollars, has also been plagued by mismanagement and bureaucratic delays in its attempts to acquire land. California’s new Governor Gavin Newsom, cowed by renewed criticism of the so-called “train to nowhere,” was forced to scale the once-ambitious project back heavily during his 2019 State of the State address. He added that California needed to “be real” about the situation. Several other examples are the East Side Access Project in New York, the 2020 census count, and a waste clean-up project in Washington State. These are only the projects which taxpayers are aware of. With a federal budget of over $4 trillion, there are undoubtedly numerous other boondoggles. It is only fair that taxpayers know why the projects they are funding are so behind. Of course, as is noted in the Act itself, not all such projects are boondoggles. Often, useful and worthwhile projects are blindsided by mismanagement or other failures by bureaucratic bodies. The Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act, rather than arbitrarily canceling such projects, would bring projects to the attention of legislators and taxpayers. If a project has access to billions of federal dollars, it is important that legislators are aware of what is being done with that money and how it can be done better. With this knowledge, legislators could help ensure that projects are streamlined and optimized, saving taxpayers billions. Even more importantly, the Act would increase much-needed accountability and oversight over government, which could incentivize public servants to waste fewer taxpayer dollars. This is not the only money-saving bill proposed by Senator Ernst. She has also introduced the Common-CENTS Act, which would allow the Treasury Department to change the metal alloy used to make nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. It is estimated that making certain changes to the composition coins could save taxpayers up to $150 billion. These two bills are useful tax-saving initiatives which could help bring the deficit under control. By introducing them to her fellow legislators, Ernst is showing that she has taxpayers in mind. She is delivering on her promise to Iowans to make Washington squeal. ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Saturday, June 15, 2019By Ali Atia
    3 days ago
  • ‘I Think I Would’ — A Clause Challenging Those Who Incite Before Thinking
    A person contemplates a business deal. The negotiators get very clever, sly — trying to maximize the deal’s value and minimize their taxes. It happens all the time. Some really weird, crazy ideas come out. “Hey, do you think we can do this? I think we can.” “Hey, can we declare our business an LLC, a pass-through… whatever that means? I think we can.” “Hey, can I just incorporate my own self and protect my house that way? I think I can.” “Hey, can we incorporate in Delaware — better yet, can we incorporate in the Cayman Islands, wherever that is? I think we can.” “Hey, can we just call her an independent contractor so as to avoid paying employee taxes? I think we can.” “Hey, can we just make that alteration to the property without seeking a permit? I think we can.” I think we can. I think I would. I think. That is how executives in the business world speak and conduct business. They are unbridled, without reins, very daring. They go way outside the box. And then, having gone as far as they can think, they turn to their professionals — the accountants and the attorneys — and they say: “Here is what we came up with, assuming it is legal or that you can figure out some other way to make it legal. Can we do it?” That is when the attorneys get to work. I have worked at some of the finest law firms in America, where the legal scholarship and incisive creativity of thought is amazing. I know all the jokes and stereotypes about attorneys. Yet I also know first-hand how honest and ethical the vast majority of attorneys are. Yes, the Michael Cohens and Michael Avenattis — and the rest of their ilk — are an appalling embarrassment and feed into the popular stereotype that is exacerbated any time someone has a legal encounter that he or she loses, or that costs a ton of money. I get it. And, yes, the overall system stinks. It moves too slowly. (By contrast, after Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, eight co-conspirators were adjudged guilty on June 30, and four of them were hanged on July 7.) And justice costs too much. But the really great attorneys work their tails off, putting in fifteen- and eighteen-hour days when the need arises in the face of a court-filing or deal-closing deadline or a pending trial, to research every conceivable precedent that may save the day, to confer in teams to generate valuable ideas. And I have met all-too-many people who hated “lawyers” until the day came when their kid was unfairly arrested or when they were wrongfully sued or when someone else cheated them out of their rightful property — and then they found true love… at least for their attorney. If Donald Trump were a bit more circumspect and understood that sometimes it really is OK to be circumspect, he either: 1. Would not have spent two days openly and casually ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Saturday, June 15, 2019By Dov Fischer
    4 days ago
  • How to Create Your Own Enemies
    Geostrategists going back to Sir Halford Mackinder have advised Western leaders to prevent at all costs the rise of a power (or a coalition of powers) that could dominate the Eurasian landmass. Yet, 30 years of fecklessly aggressive U.S. foreign policy appears to be creating such an alliance between Russia and China. While the new friendship between Russia and China has not become a true alliance in the Anglo-American sense, Moscow has almost completely realigned itself away from the West and closer to Beijing. In the words of former NATO commander, Admiral James Starvridis, such a Sino-Russian entente “may be the most important geopolitical trend of the 21st century.” The Roots of Russian Resentment During the 1990s, as the Berlin Wall was collapsing and Americans stood victorious over their Cold War foe, the Soviet Union, Washington embraced a hegemonic foreign policy. Washington’s permanent bipartisan fusion party planned to create a world in which no near-peer rival could ever rise to challenge America (and, certainly not one that could control the vital Eurasian landmass). Paradoxically, Washington’s decades-long policy of hegemony had the exact opposite effect, as evidenced by the growing alliance between Russia and China. When the United States won the Cold War, the Soviet Union was finished but most Russians hoped they could rehabilitate their broken country — with American assistance. Russia yearned to be integrated into the American-led world order and reap the same benefits that the Western European states (and Japan) did after the Second World War. Yet, this did not happen — at least not entirely. Instead, American and European elites blindly insisted upon NATO and European Union “double expansion” (in the words of Russian leaders) into former Soviet states that the United States government had (unofficially) promised Russian leaders the West would not extend into. These lands, specifically the Baltic states, were viewed by Moscow as being inextricable links in their Western defensive perimeter. Russia has large and hard-to-defend borders, which is why Moscow has historically sought to extend those borders to more defensible positions. Every country — including the United States— has sought to take similar actions. Naturally, no Western government would allow for Russia to have dominion over the former Soviet states. But there was no reason why Russian concerns over the future of those countries could not have been accounted for by the West in the post-Cold War era. All that the Russians wanted was not to be humiliated; to be fully connected into the Western military and economic alliances, of which they were not. Fear of a resurgent Russia — as well as a belief that the West needed to expand out while Russia was weak — prompted U.S. leaders to forego caution. Washington opted to abandon the lessons of great geostrategists, like Sir Halford Mackinder, by appearing to be more threatening to Moscow than Beijing. In so doing, Washington sowed the seeds for the present danger of a Chinese and Russian-dominated Eurasia. Historical Parallels The debate undergirding the creation of ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Saturday, June 15, 2019By Brandon J. Weichert
    4 days ago
  • Why Gillibrand Is the Most Vapid Clown in the Car
    She is so excruciatingly, insufferably, painfully stupid, shallow, pandering, desperate, and without ethics. Kirsten Gillibrand. United States Senator from New York. Candidate for 2020 Democrat Presidential nomination. Dolt. She was not initially on my radar. I follow the news like a hawk, but she always was so politically lightweight — make thatbantamweight — that she did notregister. Here in California, “register” is a term we often use for earthquakes. The Northridge shaker registered at 6.7. A solid 3.5, give or take, will wake you up. Gillibrand registers at 0.0, give or take a zero. It is not that I live amid a high bar for United States Senate excellence. Here in Orange County, the epicenter of The Resistance within the People’s Republic of California, reports reach us that we are represented by Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. One slept her way from the bottom to the top. Everyone here knows that. She cavorted publicly with one Willie Brown, then California Democrat Kingmaker, even prompting Willie’s wife to castigate her in the same brazen open way that the affair itself was conducted. In a quote published by the famousSan Francisco columnist Herb Caen in his book, Basic Brown, Mrs. (Blanche) Brown said on the eve of Willie being sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco: “Listen, she may have him at the moment, but come inauguration day and he’s up there on the platform being sworn in, I’ll be the b***h holding the Bible.” As for our other U.S. Senate star, she spent nearly twenty years being chauffeured around by a spy for the Chinese government. Are you worried about collusion and leaks to foreign governments? How about having a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence talking privately on her phone for two decades with no one else listening in — except for a spy planted there by China? Many Americans outside the Golden Homeless State had the opportunity to witness for your own eyes and ears these two gems on full national display during Christine Blasey Perjury day. Dromedary and Bactrian. One hump and two humps. Dianne and Kamala. So my exposure to Senate excellence does not set a high bar for Kirsten Gillibrand to transcend or even to ascend. And yet, as she endeavors to ascend, that is exactly the end on which she lands. Here is why: For several years, The Dolt was in the House, representing a somewhat moderate, even conservative, Upstate New York theretofore Republican district. She won election in 2006 and retained office in 2008 by advocating conservative views. She supported the National Rifle Association. She even received a 100% rating from the NRA. She opposed amnesty for Illegals. She even opposed issuing drivers’ licenses to Illegals. She voted to withhold federal funds from Sanctuary Cities. She won the Republican district because news broke days before the election that her opponent, the incumbent GOP Congressman, was abusive to his wife and even “knocked her around the house.” The wife had phoned in a plea to 9-1-1, and ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Friday, June 14, 2019By Dov Fischer
    5 days ago
  • Bernietopia
    When a noun must disguise itself behind an adjective, beware. “We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights,” Bernie Sanders announced at a speech this week. “That is what I mean by democratic socialism.” The word hiding behind that adjective hides in plain sight at the site of all of the past century’s great atrocities. Whether one thinks of National Socialism or Soviet Socialism, that second word conjures up a horrible track record exclusive of such concepts as compassionjustice, and love — the very words Senator Sanders employed to describe socialism. Sanders’s use of the modifier “democratic” might suggest a kinder, gentler socialism if Democratic Kampuchea and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea did not already try this approach. Despite these historical cautionary tales, and the senator’s admission that the recalcitrant bastion of capitalism somehow remains “the wealthiest country in the history of the world,” a Harris poll indicates that 40 percent of Americans would rather live in a socialist country than a capitalist one. The results closely mirror a recent Gallup poll in which 43 percent of respondents affirmed socialism as “good thing” for the United States. Coincidentally, about as many Americans hold no memory of the Berlin Wall. Many of them, uncoincidentally, support Sanders, whose numbers, although down in recent polls, slide because others coopt, not because they reject, his message. It’s not former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, booed for telling California Democrats that “socialism is not the answer,” seeing his numbers climb. It’s Elizabeth Warren, running as Bernie without the baggage — or at least his baggage. A democratic economic system — really not a system but something that developed organically — already exists. Its detractors label it capitalism; its enthusiasts call it a market economy. People vote in it with their dollars and labor. No dictatorship sets the price over goods or labor, as democratic socialism presumes to do; a market of 328 million people do. When they vote for a product by purchasing it, its price, or the supply or it, generally increases due to this demand. When they vote against it, its price, or the supply of it, generally recedes. Nobody forces anybody to work this job, buy that product, or hire those workers. Voluntary cooperation governs such exchanges. The people hold the power. In contrast, socialism — national, soviet, democratic, or otherwise — always represents a transfer of power from the people to the state. In Bernietopia it means top-down direction of what you can buy (no private health insurance), what you can sell (“keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands” and “end exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil”), how much employers can pay employees (“a living wage of at least $15 an hour” and “everyone who can work in America should have the right to a decent-paying job”), and other edicts from those who know best. Just because Bernie ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Friday, June 14, 2019By Daniel J. Flynn
    5 days ago
  • A Grotesque Political Party
    The United States has a long tradition of reliance on a two-party political structure. For that structure to function effectively both parties need to be competent and responsible. Unfortunately, that is not the case now. The lineup of Democrat presidential candidates currently stands at 25 and growing. Conrad Black has aptly described them as “unelectable non-entities.” The long and growing list is more like a tower of babel than a collection of credible leaders. Evidence of that is that leading the race currently is former senator and vice president Joe Biden. Beyond the confines of the Democrat Party the reaction to Biden’s candidacy is typically, “Is this a joke?” Joe Biden? The guy is a goof. He is known primarily for his gaffes, flip-flops, plagiarism, and unwelcome advances toward women. The very fact he is leading the race is a sad indictment on all the other candidates. The unreality of all the candidates’ policy positions, e.g. the Green New Deal, sanctuary cities, open borders, unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions, should be obvious to all sentient beings. Democrats label all Trump supporters as racists, just as Hillary Clinton labeled them all “deplorables.” Trump supporters are seen as homogeneous members of a collective. It’s another variation on the Party’s addiction to identity politics and also a good definition of bigotry. I don’t know about you but I don’t appreciate being labeled a racist by people who’ve never met me and know nothing about me. Racism is one of the ugliest of all slurs, one that is almost impossible to defend against. It is a Democrat proclivity that will surely shrink their voter base. Furthermore, what is their definition of a racist? It must include every person who’s ever had a fleeting thought of racial differences. That’s the only way you could get tens of millions of “racists.” The entire party has become a bunch of Jussie Smollett clones. Why do they rely so much on accusations of racism? Because it works, because they have nothing else, and because they have no shame. Democrats also have the annoying habit of making wild, unsubstantiated exaggerations. Three examples are the significance and prevalence of “white supremacy,” “Russian meddling,” and “voter suppression.” Such accusations are never defined and never quantified. The dearth of leaders for the party is nothing new. Consider who their previous nominees were — Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. What a strange collection of characters. To paraphrase William F. Buckley, “I’d rather be governed by the first 24 names in the phone book than any of these people.” Hillary Clinton was an incredibly bad candidate. Why was she nominated? Amazingly, it was because she was the best they had! We can thank our lucky stars she’s not president and Bill is not the “first gentleman.” Nancy Pelosi is currently the most powerful Democrat. She is the face of the party (as well as the hands). Is she someone who will inspire independents to become Democrats? Democrats love her. Conservatives ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Friday, June 14, 2019By Ron Ross
    5 days ago
  • America’s Bull in a China Shop
    America’s bull is loose in the China shop. President Trump has set in place a confrontation with China over that nation’s trade infractions. The shop’s elite patrons are in paroxysms, while Main Street presses their nose to the glass to watch the show. That two groups could see such different things in the same occurrence is the crux of American politics today. The Chinese have a long heritage as merchants. Found across Asia and the world, they run businesses from the smallest street stalls to the largest conglomerates. For decades now, China’s Communist Party has taken a mercantilist approach, tapping into their nation’s predilection. They have thereby generated the capital no other communist nation has ever been able to raise. By doing so, they have transformed the former embodiment of global impoverishment into the epitome of successful development. Along the way, the world’s undiscerning shoppers have enjoyed the bargains but ignored the consequences. Both were equally clear: Cheap goods in large quantities and unscrupulous business practices. The world focused on the former and ignored the latter. Trump has done the opposite. This has been the Trump trade agenda writ large: Taking a contrarian position to the prevailing elite approach that welcomed foreign exports in unlimited quantities. Pursued everywhere, nowhere has Trump advanced his contrarian position more forcefully than with China. Following China’s backtracking from a deal that promised détente in the nations’ trade relationship, President Trump has begun putting in place actions likely to escalate the conflict. Tariffs on hundreds of billions in Chinese exports are due to increase significantly. Additional tariffs on hundreds of billions more are promised to follow. Restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei are in place, and a response aimed at currency manipulation — a practice China has unabashedly pursued — appears in the works. As with all wars, they comprise casualties and assets. The first casualties of Trump’s China trade war were America’s elites. They have benefited greatly from our former trade relationship with China —inequitable though it was. They would like very much to continue to do so. As a result, although they ostensibly lament the obvious inequities, they tacitly support the status quo. They want the bull out of their China shop. Trump also has his assets in this trade conflict. The American economy is fundamentally strong. Perhaps stronger still is his case against China. China’s numerous transgressions are well and long known — not just here, but globally — despite having never faced a serious challenge before. For decades, Main Street America has felt the effect of the elite’s prevailing trade approach. Elites therefore cannot directly oppose Trump in attacking China; they are left only with the cursory response that they would pursue it in a better way — despite never having bothered to do so. China’s mercantilist approach is nothing new. In Asia, Japan, and then Korea, earlier used this developmental approach. In America, a different segment of Main Street suffered each time. The economic throwback of mercantilism seems quaint to America’s ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Friday, June 14, 2019By J.T. Young
    5 days ago
  • Joe Biden and the Democrats’ Racist Abortion Position
    Imagine if Donald Trump announced he would change his longtime opposition to public funding of abortion in order to ensure that black, Hispanic, and poor women can abort their babies. Would liberals need even 10 seconds before foaming at the mouth screaming that he’s a racist? Last week in Atlanta, Joe Biden, Democrat presidential frontrunner for 2020, said: “For many years as a U.S. senator, I have supported the Hyde amendment as many, many others have because there was sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right [to abortion], women of color, poor women, women were not able to have access…. But circumstances have changed.” Thus, said Biden, “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and their ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.” In response, the crowd of liberal women went wild, applauding ecstatically. It was an incredible moment. A sick moment. Think about what Joe Biden said, to liberals’ roaring approval: He’s reversing his long-held position so “women of color, poor women” can get abortions — that is, have their abortions publicly paid for. He’s changing specifically because of women of color and poor women. He wants them to be able to have their abortions. He wants to make sure money isn’t an issue. He wants no obstacles to them securing their desire to abort their child. This change is prompted wholly on their behalf: “women of color, poor women.” Even long-held religious objections should be no barrier. Your belief in God, and your conviction that God would shudder at you helping to finance others’ abortions, plays second fiddle to the greater goal of these women getting abortions. Naturally, liberals will recoil when seeing Biden’s comments framed that way. Biden, after all, is their boy, and Roe v. Wade is their baby. The hallowed “right to choose” is a sacrament in the liberal church. That abortion far and away disproportionately annihilates minority and especially African-Americans is dismissed in light of their ultimate highest good. I’ve written here many times about the awful history of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, her work with the “Negro Project,” her commitment to racial eugenics for what she called “race improvement,” her May 1926 speech to the Silverlake, New Jersey chapter of the KKK, which she openly wrote about in her memoirs. I’ve written on Hillary Clinton’s abortion hypocrisy and on liberal cult-hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s assessment to the New York Times Magazine: “I had thought that at the time Roewas decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roewas going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.” I also wrote here recently about abortion in Biden’s birth state of Pennsylvania, a state he hopes to take away from Donald ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Friday, June 14, 2019By Paul Kengor
    5 days ago
  • Lemonade Stands Legalized in Texas
    A child’s lemonade stand set up on a hot summer day is a classic element of Americana. Lemonade stands are one of a child’s first forays into entrepreneurship, and teach valuable skills about commerce, sales, and resource management. Lemonade stands also give children a fun and productive activity to do when school is out. They’re utterly uncontroversial, right? Not so much. In many states, it is illegal to have a lemonade stand without a permit. You may recall the campaign last summer by Country Time Lemonade to combat the shutting down of children’s lemonade stands. The company volunteered to pay the legal fees of children whose lemonade stands were shut down by police. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed a law on Monday to finally make it legal for children to have lemonade stands without permits. Abbott signed the law in a video on Twitter where he said, “Here is a common-sense law. It allows kids to sell lemonade at lemonade stands. We had to pass it because police shut down a lemonade stand here in Texas. So kids, *signs bill* cheers *sips lemonade*.”  
    It’s now legal for kids to sell lemonade at stands. We had to pass a law because police shut down a kid’s lemonade stand. Thanks to ⁦@RepMattKrause⁩. #txlege #LEMONADE pic.twitter.com/xwfCob2nvV — Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 11, 2019 The children that Abbott references in the video are two girls from Overton, Texas who were trying to earn a little bit of money to buy their dad a Father’s Day gift by selling Kettle Corn and Lemonade. Their stand was shut down because the eight and nine year old girls lacked adequate government permits to run the stand. Representative Matthew Krause (R-Ft. Worth) proposed the law, HB 234, after the two girls had their stand shut down. The law specifies that municipalities and counties across the state may not create any sort of law or regulation that  “prohibits an individual younger than 18 years of age from temporarily selling lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property.” The rules are now clear in Texas, lemonade stands are allowed, and children will no longer run into permit problems when trying to engage in local commerce on a miniature scale. Across the country, every year kids get in trouble for having unpermitted lemonade stands. Lemonade stands are a harmless way for kids to learn important skills while keeping themselves occupied and out of trouble in the summer months. The government shouldn’t put up unnecessary barriers that punish kids’ entrepreneurial spirit. Legalization of lemonade stands in Texas. ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, June 13, 2019By Paige Lambermont
    5 days ago
  • Hong Kong Protestors Refuse to Back Down
    It has been a perilous few weeks for the Chinese Communist Party. The government faces wavering economic indicators compounded by the redoubling of its trade war with the United States, and mounting condemnation of the treatment of its Muslim Uighur population. To make matters worse for the Xi administration, protestors in Hong Kong have risen up in what could be one of the largest mass rallies in the region to date. The demonstrations are being held over an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government, which may potentially give Beijing a legal excuse to abduct political activists from Hong Kong to face prosecution in mainland China under pro-communist judges. The bill is the latest in a long line of attempts to undermine the political and judicial independence of the city, which is one of two regions of China that maintains any semblance of democracy. CNN reported that the initial protest on June 9th drew as many as one million participants, more than the peak turnout during the Umbrella Movement protests that roiled Hong Kong in 2014.  The protesters battled with riot police into the night, attempting several times to storm the legislative building. The debate that was scheduled for the bill was eventually delayed after entrances to the building were cut off, preventing legislators from entering. Another rally is planned for the weekend, promising continued unrest. The odds have, as always, been stacked against pro-democracy and pro-autonomy forces in the region. The 2014 protests, despite their scale and duration, failed to spur the government toward any meaningful reform. It appears that Beijing intends to pursue a similar no-concessions policy this time, dismissing the protestors as marginal troublemakers and using a mix of censorship and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to prevent information from spreading to the mainland. Carrie Lam, the CCP-backed Chief Executive of Hong Kong, has followed her handler’s line and refused to budge on extradition. It seems at first that the events of half a decade ago are likely to repeat themselves: huge protests that are ignored by the government and eventually die out, followed by clandestine crack-downs and arrests targeting the participants, sometimes years later. In 2019, however, the calculus appears to be somewhat different. The Chinese government is facing an unfamiliar crisis that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Plunging consumption and a tightening job market suggest that an economic slowdown, or even a recession, is approaching. Its position is further being weakened by the United States’ full-steam tariff policy, which President Trump is threatening to further escalate. An oft-repeated claim about China is that the Communist Party’s legitimacy lives and dies with its ability to provide sustained economic growth. The next few years will test whether this is the case. As the gateway to China for foreign companies, Hong Kong will be central to any Chinese effort to avoid being economically isolated by America and her allies. Meanwhile, the city’s democratic institutions will continue to stand as ... read more
    Source: American SpectatorPublished on Thursday, June 13, 2019By John Jiang
    5 days ago