American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks has a new book out this week, The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America. In the past, Brooks has expressed concern that a large portion of the American public doesn’t believe that conservatives (and libertarians) have much of a heart—that they don’t care much about the problems of the poor and disadvantaged. He has made countering this impression a major part of AEI’s mission, sponsoring events like AEI’s “Vision Talks,” in particular this one from last June, titled “A Conservative Vision for Social Justice,” which featured Brooks himself as well as former New York City social services guru Robert Doar and Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle.
This is bloody awful. Here is how the Chattanooga Times Free Press describes what has happened:
Four members of the military were killed in two attacks on military centers in separate parts of Chattanooga by a unknown gunman, leading to lockdowns at local hospitals as well as the Army Recruiting Center on Lee highway as well as the Naval and Marine Reserve Center at the Chattanooga Riverpark, where shots were fired.
At least four Marines were killed and one police officer was shot in the attacks, according to multiple sources.
The shooter is dead, according to reports, and police say this is no longer an active shooting situation.
One can only hope the police officer survives his injuries.
At this point, the shooter has not been identified.
Yet after having read what happened today I cannot help but be reminded of what has happened in the recent past.
Last weekend, the New York Times handed Ted Cruz the kind of gift Presidential candidates rarely get from a pre-disposed media entity: a chance to watch them faceplant spectacularly, and then use their now-prone-on-the-sidewalk body as a bridge over the gutter.
For days, the Cruz campaign has been arguing with the NYT over the NYT omitting Ted Cruz's book from their bestseller list, despite evidence that Cruz's book sold more than enough copies to put it at number three on the list. The NYT claimed that Cruz purchased copies of the book in bulk to pad sales numbers, though both Cruz's publisher and several other booksellers disagreed. Thanks, in no small part, to that back-and-forth, it seems Cruz sold more than enough books to land himself on the NYT bestseller list this week, regardless of the NYT's "evidence" of bulk books sales.
For months, conservative donors, activists and groups in Wisconsin were terrorized by partisan DAs using loosely-interpreted election law to comb through their fianances, enter their homes and question their friends and families - all in an effort to "prove" that Scott Walker had illegally coordinated with grassroots efforts to win his recall election and subsequent re-election campaign.
The bizarre series of events, which would make an excellent Lifetime movie, honestly, culminated in a ruling this morning from the Wisconsin Supreme Court who were, shall we say, not very kind to the law enforcement and local government officials who concocted the elaborate intimidation scheme.
Somehow, the American contingent negotiating with the Iranians missed a very important aspect of America's interest in recreating Iran as a friend: getting four Americans, held by the Iranians on trumped-up charges, including one WaPo reporter, the hell out of the country before they're "convicted." Yesterday, when Major Garrett dared to ask the President why he'd managed to eek out a terrible deal with the Iranians while ignoring his own countrymen, President Obama threw a small, public tantrum, like a two year old who has just been told he can't have an entire box of Swedish Fish for dinner, claiming that he couldn't negotiate for prisoners while also negotiating over nukes.
Not really true, but okay.
After President Obama told CBS reporter Major Garrett at yesterday afternoon’s White House press conference that ”he should know better” for questioning him about the four Americans currently held in captivity in Iran, I made the case that it was Obama who should know better for seeing fit to negotiate a nuclear agreement with a country holding Americans in captivity in the first place.
When it comes to criticism of Iran's nuclear deal, President Obama says it's either my way or war:
I'm hearing a lot of talking points being repeated about “this is a bad deal” -- “this is a historically bad deal,” “this will threaten Israel and threaten the world and threaten the United States.” I mean, there’s been a lot of that.
Before leaving for Israel, British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond claimed, “Israel does not want an agreement, but confrontation” with Iran. Hammond added that Israel is interested in “a perpetual dual” with Iran.
As I recall, it is Iran that wants a confrontation with Israel. In fact, it was only last November that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei outlined a 9-point plan to eliminate the Jewish state.
Earlier this afternoon, during a press conference in which he vigorously defended the new nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama took CBS News reporter Major Garrett to task when Garrett raised the fate of Americans still held in captivity in Iran:
“The notion that I am content, as I celebrate, with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails — Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better,” Obama said, adding: “I’ve met with the families of some of those folks, and nobody’s content.”
The president said teams are working “diligently” to free them, but said tying their freedom to negotiations could create an incentive for Iran to use American prisoners as leverage for concessions.
The fact that Obama would enter into nuclear negotiations with a country that is holding Americans captive speaks volumes about his judgment or lack thereof. It is President Obama who should know better.
At the beginning of the week, I offered six reasons why I believe Scott Walker will be elected President. Here is an excerpt from Reason #6:
The reason liberals have failed to oust Walker from office is that liberals portray Walker as a monster, but Walker simply doesn’t come off that way to most people. If anything it is the liberals who have been far more monstrous in their behavior towards Walker and his family, effectively making him a more sympathetic figure. When the Boston band the Dropkick Murphys objected to Walker using their version of the Woody Guthrie penned song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” at the Iowa Freedom Summit, they tweeted, “we literally hate you.” This says a great deal more about the Dropkick Murphys than it does about Scott Walker. I suspect we will see a lot more of this and, to paraphrase Nietzsche, what does not kill Walker will make him stronger. If Walker can carry himself with more decency than his opponents, then he will go far.