As part of his warmed-over jobs plan, President Obama is repackaging "Buy American" stimulus subsidies to help hard-hit homegrown businesses. At the same time, however, Congress is pushing to expand a fraud-riddled investor program that puts U.S. citizenship for sale to the highest foreign business bidders.
Seventy years old, Bob Turner was retired with 13 grandchildren, sitting comfortably in the Breezy Point section of Queens, N.Y. to enjoy life and be generous to his church and family. But now he's one of 435 legislators trying to get something constructive done in a town that often seems poised for something very different.
He spoke at his congressional campaign's victory party in Howard Beach early in the morning on Sept. 14, armed with a message that was as humble and confident as the messenger delivering it. He has been elected to the seat vacated by the now-infamous Anthony Weiner, a seat that may very well be redistricted out of existence next year. Which is actually just fine with him.
In the Republican presidential candidates debate Monday night in Tampa, CNN's Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical question. Normally, a hypothetical question should not be answered, but in this case it revealed something about the questioner and sparked a controversial, but necessary answer from Rep. Ron Paul.
For those watching the two Monday Night Football games, the question was: "A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?"
Liberals are on their high horses about a single audience member at CNN's Republican debate whom they believe wanted a hypothetical man without health insurance in a hypothetical coma to die -- hypothetically.
(Democrats want people in comas to die only when they are not hypothetical but real, like Terri Schiavo.)
Too much of anything is just as much a misallocation of resources as it is too little, and that applies to higher education just as it applies to everything else. A recent study from The Center for College Affordability and Productivity titled "From Wall Street to Wal-Mart," by Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, Matthew Denhart, Christopher Matgouranis and Jonathan Robe, explains that college education for many is a waste of time and money. More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree. An essay by Vedder that complements the CCAP study reports that there are "one-third of a million waiters and waitresses with college degrees." The study says Vedder — distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of CCAP — "was startled a year ago when the person he hired to cut down a tree had a master's degree in history, the fellow who fixed his furnace was a mathematics graduate, and, more recently, a TSA airport inspector (whose job it was to ensure that we took our shoes off while going through security) was a recent college graduate."
It is very disheartening to see Republican presidential primary candidates racing to out-demagogue one another in denouncing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's accurate description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. It used to be that Republicans at least waited until the general election campaign to pander to liberals.
I admire Perry both for telling it like it is and for having the guts to stand by his statement when under fire. That shows character.
It seems like yesterday, though it was nearly a decade ago, when the No Child Left Behind Act brought sweeping changes to education across the nation. Now the feds are making sure no child's lunch is left behind, with their overreaching food tampering in local schools.
In December, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law. Over the months since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has told state agencies and school food authorities how to implement various provisions in it.
Are your kids learning the right lessons about 9/11? Ten years after Osama bin Laden's henchmen murdered thousands of innocents on American soil, too many children have been spoon-fed the thin gruel of progressive political correctness over the stiff antidote of truth.
"Know your enemy, name your enemy" is a 9/11 message that has gone unheeded. Our immigration and homeland security policies refuse to profile jihadi adherents at foreign consular offices and at our borders. Our military leaders refuse to expunge them from uniformed ranks until it's too late (see: Fort Hood massacre). The j-word is discouraged in Obama intelligence circles, and the term "Islamic extremism" was removed from the U.S. national security strategy document last year.
For Hollywood, to push America’s morality buttons is a win-win proposition. When they challenge those moribund "traditional values," they not only strike a blow for the sexual revolution, they create the cherished publicity "buzz" that brings attention – and viewers – to their shows.
It explains why ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars" named to their cast America’s most famous "transgender" activist, who was once the cute little blond daughter Chastity that everyone of a certain age remembers from the old Sonny and Cher show on CBS, and is now the female-denying Chaz Bono.
The show business publication "Variety" reports "40-plus programs expected to commemorate 10th anniversary of (9-11) attacks." And those are just the specials. They don't include reports within news programs, or overseas TV memorials, which began last month.
How we love our anniversaries. Whether it's "the Maine," "Pearl Harbor" or "9-11" we choose to remember, the question is "Why?" Why remember? To honor the dead? Yes, that is a good reason. How about to remember loved ones and survivors? That, too, is commendable.
Despite liberals' desperate need for Europeans to like them, the American media have enraged the entire nation of Italy with their bald-faced lies about a heinous murder in Perugia committed by a fresh-faced American girl, Amanda Knox.
The facts aren't elusive: In December 2009, the Italian court released a 400-plus page report detailing the mountains of evidence that led the judges and jury to conclude that Knox, along with her Italian beau, Raffaele Sollecito, and a petty thief of her acquaintance, Rudy Guede, had murdered Knox's English roommate, Meredith Kercher, on the evening of Nov. 1, 2007.
In the last few weeks, leading Democrats in Congress have called Tea Party constituents terrorists, said they should go to hell and accused them of wanting to lynch black people. Last weekend, at an event attended by President Obama, the head of the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., attacked the Tea Party, screaming, "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches (Tea Party members) out and give America back to an America where we belong." (Note: the president was not on the platform when Hoffa spoke.)
So far, neither the president, nor any prominent Democrat has condemned such remarks — even though the phrase "take out" is commonly used to describe an act of criminal homicide. Thus, Hoffa's statement might rise to the level of incitement to violence.
Barack Obama and Jimmy Hoffa are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Lady Gaga and hype, the "Jersey Shore" cast and hairspray: inseparable. The president can no more disown the Teamsters Union's leader than he can disown his own id.
At a Labor Day rally in Detroit on Monday before Obama spoke, Hoffa stoked anti-tea party hostility by urging his minions to "take these son of a b*tches out." (Botched grammar added that extra boost of street-gang authenticity to the labor lawyer's threat.) The same civility police on the left who decry any references to crosshairs as incitements to violence are now mute about Hoffa's brass-knuckle rhetoric. The Chicagoans in the White House refuse to comment.
Ten years ago, after 9/11, Americans chanted, "We will never forget."
Today the White House is chanting that it is not "just about us."
Terrorism has been tempered and transformed ever since 2009, when President Barack Obama took office and turned the global war on terror into an "overseas contingency operation" and coddled the global Muslim community from Cairo by saying that part of his "responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear" and create a "partnership between America and Islam." Since those actions, a slew of terrorists have slipped through the cracks of U.S. international and homeland security.
This will be a stretch for some, but stay with me. Suppose someone presented a plan that is guaranteed to achieve the objectives everyone (or almost everyone serious about such matters) agrees are necessary to create jobs, end our financial dependence on China, reform the tax code and repair Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid so they not only continue to support people now, but ensure the health and welfare of future generations.
Would the politicians accept this gift from the political gods? Or would they prefer the dysfunction that characterizes virtually everything they do and prevents solutions, guaranteeing instead the continuation of the issue for partisan political gain?
When Vice President Joe Biden rolls into a room to talk politics, frankly I am ready to laugh. He is, for me, the gaffable Joe Biden. Remember when he told the perky Katie Couric that during the great stock market crash of 1929 President Franklin Roosevelt immediately "got on television" to reassure the American people. Biden apparently reassured Miss Couric; yet others in the audience who knew their history and recognized his blunder got a huge laugh at Joe's expense. The president in 1929 was, of course, Herbert Hoover, and there was no television.
Or what about the gaffable vice president declaring, "The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be as Barack says, a three-letter word, jobs, j-o-b-s, jobs"? Good old Joe!
In advance of a "major speech" on the economy and jobs, President Obama has selected Princeton University professor Alan Krueger to be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger is no relation to the horror film character Freddy Krueger, though if his ideas are implemented, they might further "slash" the economy.
Alan Krueger is the latest in a long line of professors and academics to populate this administration. Few, if any, have held real jobs in the private sector. They are mostly theorists, whose theories are often proved wrong, but in academia, as well as in government, being wrong rarely disqualifies one from a leadership post. Intentions are all that matter.
There are now enough Operation Fast and Furious officials playing hide-and-seek in the Obama administration to fill a "rubber room."
That's the nickname for taxpayer-subsidized holding pens, such as the ones in the New York City public schools, where crooked employees are separated from the system and paid to do nothing. Perhaps the White House can stimulate a few construction jobs by adding an entire rubber room annex for "reassigned" scandal bureaucrats at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's getting mighty crowded.
As the 2012 presidential race gears up, leftist Christophobes are showing some signs of hysteria — or political opportunism; it's sometimes difficult to tell.
The New York Times' executive editor, Bill Keller, in a piece in The New York Times Magazine, argues that presidential candidates should be asked tough questions about their faith. Keller wants to know whether a candidate will place "fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon ... or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country" and "whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history." He wants to make sure "religious doctrine" does not become "an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises." His colleague, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, followed up with a hit piece on "Republicans Against Science."
Loyal readers know that I have been calling attention to a range of Second Amendment issues in the past week. In last week's column here, I wrote about the scandals and illegitimate regulations emanating from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In another outlet, I documented the threat to our rights that is posed by the United Nations' proposed arms trade treaty.
In response, I have heard from many readers who are understandably outraged. They want our federal law enforcement agencies to respect the law, not break it. They want our negotiators at the U.N. to protect our unique constitutional rights, not surrender them to some Utopian vision of global harmony. With apologies to the late Bill Buckley, my readers feel powerless to climb athwart the federal leviathan and yell "stop."
In my high school days before sex and environmental education and the general dumbing down of the population, memorization of some Shakespeare was expected in Miss Kauffman's 12th-grade English class. A favorite I still recall is this line spoken by Brutus in "Julius Caesar": "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries..."
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) repeatedly says in various ways it is too soon, or he isn't ready, for higher office, such as vice president. He's been in the Senate for a little more than seven months and has delivered only two major speeches -- his maiden speech on the Senate floor and one last week at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Just like that, most of America can move on from any concern about the very existence of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The former head of the International Monetary Fund is a free man, proclaiming his innocence. But what about our innocence? It still seems to be missing.
In May, the once-potential French presidential candidate was accused of sexually assaulting a luxury-hotel maid, and arrested in New York -- dramatically taken from his Air France plane at JFK airport. The case would unravel for prosecutors, as his accuser was caught making false statements; it ended up being dismissed.
Blunt. Brash. Bold. Politically incorrect. Unapologetically patriotic. Philadelphia cheese-steak king Joey Vento was all that and a side of freedom fries. The 71-year-old owner of Geno's Steaks died of a heart attack last week, but he reignited a national debate over radical multiculturalism that will burn for years to come.
Five years ago, Vento garnered national headlines when a local newspaper profiled his outspoken views on customers who couldn't speak English. He hung a sign in his order window that read: "This is America. When ordering, speak English." Though he never turned anyone away, the grandson of Italian immigrants informed hungry patrons that he reserved the "right to refuse service" to those he couldn't understand.
President Obama often tells us that his No. 1 focus is creating jobs, but his record makes you wonder what he might have done differently if his goal were to destroy jobs.
Those who've examined Congressional Budget Office data have calculated that each job allegedly created by Obama's stimulus — and this is if you accept the fantastically generous guesstimates — cost between $225,000 and $600,000. But that's not the only way in which the administration has shown its virtual contempt for efficient job creation and its callousness concerning job destruction.
Alas, we lost a most desirable candidate for the White House this week, one that is not charismatic, did not write (or have someone else write) his memoir, has displayed no jump shot in public and did not leave important documents on his desk while gallivanting around the country in campaign mode and heading for vacation on Martha's Vineyard. In the first instance, I am talking about Congressman Paul Ryan. In the second, I am talking about President you-know-who. Since the day he was inaugurated, he has been campaigning for his second term, all the while expressing ambivalence about wanting a second term. That is nonsense. He is living rent-free and has that big airplane to fly about the country in.
What laws are we morally obligated to obey? Help with the answer can be found in "Economic Liberty and the Constitution," a 66-page pamphlet by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
President Obama's legacy is shaping up to be a recurring cycle of rhetorical failures chasing policy failures, an endless, stupefying effort to convince us of the wisdom of pursuing — again and again — policies that have already failed.
This point is reinforced as we read reports about Obama's umpteenth luxurious golf outing while our economy and financial condition approach DEFCON 2 and Middle East turmoil continues apace.
President Barack Obama wants you to believe that America's Founding Fathers were in error when they gave citizens the right to bear arms.
The Obama administration and even its Mexican counterpart have manipulated public opinion to believe that the cartel drug wars are being fueled largely by American guns. In support of that spin, they are trying to impose a new regulation that requires licensed firearms dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to report to the federal government whenever someone buys from them more than one semiautomatic rifle with certain characteristics.
While the federal government continues to drown in a sea of debt, several states are reporting surpluses, thanks to policies Washington would do well to emulate.
Nowhere has the economic turnaround been more immediate than in Virginia. When Governor Bob McDonnell took office in January 2010, he was faced with a $2.2 billion shortfall bequeathed to him by outgoing Democratic governor (and now Senate candidate) Tim Kaine. In less than two years, McDonnell has delivered two budget surpluses without raising taxes or causing harm to the "most vulnerable." Instead, he has judiciously cut spending.