Chuck Colson passed away today of complications of a brain hemorrhage sustained last month. He was 80.
Colson served as Chief Counsel to President Nixon. He achieved notoriety for his involvement in composing Nixon’s Enemies List and was one of the key figures in the Watergate coverup. After being charged, Colson underwent a religious conversion and because of that decided to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in the defamation of Daniel Ellsberg. Colson was sentenced to one to three years in prison and fined $5,000.
While many critics of the Nixon Administration said that Colson’s religious conversion was a ploy to get a reduced sentence, Colson spent the rest of his life through the Prison Fellowship helping prisoners and their families in the U.S. and abroad. Certainly that counts for something.
To give you an idea of how certain I am that the Red Sox are only beginning to descend into an abyss, I knew they couldn’t hold on to a 9-0 lead against the Yankees after five innings.
However, the blame cannot be laid at the door of Red Sox starter Felix Doubront. He gave up only one run (a solo homer to Mark Teixeira) on four hits in six innings pitched. The Red Sox bullpen was another story. The Yankees scored seven runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Teixeira added another homer, Nick Swisher hit a grand slam and drove in the go ahead runs with a two run double. Swisher had 6 RBI in two innings while Eduardo Nunez went 3 for 3 in the seventh and eighth. Red Sox “closer” Alfredo Aceves did not retire a single batter.
The Yankees won 15-9. The Red Sox are 4-10 and have begun their second century at Fenway in the most inauspicious way possible.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field this afternoon.
FOX broke away from the Yankees-Red Sox game to broadcast the final three outs. I thought Brendan Ryan checked his swing on the 3-2 count but the ump called it a strike. The ball, however, rolled to the backstop and Chisox catcher A.J. Pierzynski ran like Rickey Henderson to retrieve the ball and threw it to Paul Konerko to record the final out.
Humber’s perfecto is the 21st in MLB history and first since Roy Halladay in May 2010. Well, that should be Armando Galarraga but let’s put that aside. Humber entered the game with only 11 big league victories on his resume. The 29-year old Humber was a third round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2004. He was one of four players traded to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana following the 2008 season. Humber has bounced around with the Twins, Royals, Athletics before being picked up on waivers last season by the Chisox. He worked his way into the starting rotation finishing 2011 with a 9-9 record.
Humber is the third White Sox pitcher to throw a perfect game. Charlie Robertson threw the first in 1922 in only his fourth big league start and Mark Buehrle did it in 2009. Many of the White Sox players in today’s game were on hand for Buehrle’s perfecto. Still, I’m certain those players were every bit as excited to be on the field for this game as they were nearly three years ago.
In a post-game interview with Dave Sims and Eric Karros, Humber was humbled by his accomplishment and said hello to his wife who is expecting their first child. While becoming a father will undoubtedly be a bigger thrill, this is a day he will never forget.
Sen. Orrin Hatch came up just short in his bid to win renomination outright at the Utah Republican state convention. Instead he will face conservative state Sen. Dan Liljenquist in a June primary. Hatch got a sliver more than 59 percent of the vote; he needed 60 percent.
Hatch backers are spinning it as a victory of sorts, which it to some extent is. The six-term senator will be heavily favored in the primary, which features a wider electorate than the conservative activists at the convention, and he did much better than the 26 percent Sen. Robert Bennett got at the convention in 2010, which wasn’t enough to even appear on the primary ballot. But it keeps the Tea Party challenge to Hatch alive and some groups like FreedomWorks will reportedly remain involved in the race.
I saw some of the ceremony commemorating Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary prior to today’s game against the New York Yankees.
I think they had nearly every living person who ever wore a Red Sox uniform: Yaz, Nomar, Mo Vaughn, El Tiante, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Jim Lonborg, Rice, Dewey, Fisk, Buckner, Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, Canseco, Rick Wise and Tito decided to come along after all. If you looked hard enough you could see Don Schwall (who beat out Yaz to win the 1961 AL Rookie of the Year) and Pumpsie Green, the Red Sox’s first black player. Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek helped along Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr in their wheelchairs while Kevin Millar and Pedro Martinez led the largest toast in the history of the world with a little help from Welch’s. Mayor Menino and Caroline Kennedy threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Well, Neil Diamond did write “Sweet Caroline” for her although it’s probably time to hear a new song in the middle of the eighth inning.
As a resident of the City of Boston for the past 12 years, Fenway has become my neighborhood ballpark. For most of those years it was literally so as I lived in the Fenway and could walk to the ballpark in five to ten minutes. Over the years, it often took me longer to get out of the ballpark and onto the street than it did to walk home.
I have seen more than 80 games at Fenway. Of course, I remember the first game I attended at Fenway on April 17, 2000 - Patriot’s Day. The Sox lost 1-0 to the Oakland Athletics. Earlier this week, I saw the Sox on Patriot’s Day. They also lost 1-0 this time to the Tampa Bay Rays. Particular things stand out such as seeing Brian Daubach get walk off hits on three separate occasions in 2000. I saw Hideo Nomo carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins. He had thrown one in his Red Sox debut against the Orioles in Baltimore. I saw Bret Saberhagen record his last big league win and on my 35th birthday saw what turned out to be Roger Clemens’ last big league appearance.
I remember Oakland Athletics centerfielder Terrence Long robbing Manny Ramirez of what would have been a walk off homerun and Jermaine Dye looking at him as if to say, “You didn’t just make that catch.” I saw Jonathan Papelbon make his big league debut as a starting pitcher against the Minnesota Twins. In that same game (which was played during the trade deadline), Manny pinch hit and got a game winning single. After the game, he coined the phrase “Manny being Manny.”
On two occasions, I saw David Ortiz hit walk off homeruns. The first was on Easter Sunday in 2004 in a twelve inning triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays. The second time was on July 31, 2006 against the Cleveland Indians off Fausto Carmona (who, as it turns out, is not actually Fausto Carmona.)
Usually I sit in the grandstands on the first base side. But I’ve sat in the bleachers. I would advise against it because you’re not protected from the elements. The same is true if you sit in the seats above the Green Monster which I did on a rainy night towards the end of the 2005 season against the Twins.
Still, I like the fact that you are close to the action no matter where you at Fenway and that the Red Sox assume your intelligent enough to know when to cheer and when to jeer. You don’t see instructions on the scoreboard telling you when to make your voice heard nor do they feel the need to fill every second with loud, obnoxious music. Can you say Yankee Stadium? Since John Henry and Tom Werner took over, Fenway has had a substantial facelift for the better especially the concourses. No longer does it look like a dank basement.
So what’s my most memorable moment at Fenway? That’s easy. Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays. If the Sox lose, the Rays go onto the Series. Down 7-0 in the 7th, many people left. I wasn’t going anywhere. If they lost, I was going to see it through. The Sox won 8-7 on a walk off single by J.D. Drew. Of course, that game would have been more memorable had the Sox won Game 7.
I’ve seen the Sox through good (two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007) and bad (the collapse of 2001 and the even bigger collapse of 2011 which I’m convinced has only just begun.) But win or lose, if you love to watch baseball then Fenway Park is the place to be and hope to be there for many more seasons to come.
UPDATE: The losing continues as the Sox fell 6-2. The Yankees hit five homeruns including the 631st of Alex Rodriguez’s career. He passes former teammate Ken Griffey, Jr and is now fifth on the all-time homerun list. Meanwhile, the Sox are 4-9 in this young season.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is still trying to get Rush Limbaugh booted from the airwaves. This Daily Caller report highlights the group’s disdain for political speech with which it disagrees:
“He is going to be whining and calling us out about his First Amendment rights” Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, told The Daily Caller about how she expects Limbaugh to react to their campaign. “There is nothing in the Constitution that says Rush Limbaugh gets $38 million a year for being on a radio show.”
Most of the movies coming out of Hollywood today are awful. By the time I reach my car in the cinema parking lot, I have forgotten their dismal plots and crummy dialogue. But a few movies from the past stick in my memory. I enjoyed a few of Woody Allen’s movies: Husbands and Wives, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Crimes and Misdemeanors. I also heard, sometime during my college years, about a writer/director named Whit Stillman. He was described in the press as the “WASP Woody Allen.” I rented his first two movies, Metropolitan and Barcelona, and was very impressed by the depth of their drollery. The sensibility informing them seemed to me more Catholic than Protestant. If memory serves me right, one of his characters in Metropolitan refers to the Protestant Reformation as “barbaric.”
After a long absence, Whit Stillman has returned to moviemaking, injecting some much-needed wit and intelligence back into Hollywood. His latest, Damsels in Distress, has generated some good press coverage. His movies largely revolve around sharp and beautiful actresses. I believe Kate Beckinsale got a career bounce from The Last Days of Disco. My guess is that the actress Megalyn Echikunwoke will get a career bounce from Damsels in Distress. Perhaps her difficult-to-say name will pose a problem for agents, though it sounded nice when I heard her pronounce it in an interview.
I hope that Whit Stillman makes many more movies. Without writers and directors like him, who have actually read a few books and studied some intellectual and religious history, the cultural wasteland that is Hollywood would be even more barren.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is trying to craft a more GOP-friendly version of the DREAM Act. The original Democratic iteration, which has stalled in Congress, was billed as an attempt to prevent the deportation of people whose parents brought them to the country illegally as children if they enlisted in the military or pursued certain educational opportunities. DREAM contained loopholes that could have turned it into a much broader-based amnesty.
Rubio says he can formulate a DREAM proposal that will pass the “Kris Kobach test.” Kobach is a Mitt Romney adviser who opposes amnesty and helped design laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 to crack down on illegal immigration. While the details have yet to be fleshed out, here’s how Rubio explains the broad outlines of what he is trying to do:
All it does, it takes something that already exists, which is it takes non-immigrant visas and applies it to children who have grown up in this country, who we spent thousands of dollars educating … [and] allows them to continue to contribute to this country and if they eventually decide they would like to become residents and then thereafter citizens, allow that to do that the same way that anybody else in the world would be able to do it, and that is by accessing the existing route that is now in place.
If successful, Rubio could also help Romney square the circle on immigration. But he does run the risk of proposing something Democrats and Latino activists will oppose without winning the support of immigration restrictionists. I’ve written previously about the fact that Romney’s immigration stance — with an assist from Rubio — didn’t hurt him with Florida Hispanics in this year’s Republican primary.
Drummer, guitarist, mandolin player, singer and actor Levon Helm, best known for his tenure with The Band, passed away earlier this afternoon after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.
Born in Arkansas, Helm cut his musical teeth in the late 1950s with Ronnie Hawkins as a member of Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks which enjoyed their greatest success as a bar band in and around Toronto. It was north of the border where Helm met Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson and they eventually joined the Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. In 1963, Helm and company parted ways with Hawkins and came to the attention of Bob Dylan. In 1965, the Hawks helped Dylan go electric with mixed results. These results prompted Helm to take a hiatus from music for two years and return to Arkansas.
However, Helm would eventually rejoin The Hawks which by this time was known simply as The Band. They resumed their collaboration with Dylan both on the road and did some recordings with him which eventually saw the light of day in 1975 as The Basement Tapes. In 1968, The Band found stardom of their own with the release of their debut album Music from Big Pink. Helm sang lead vocal on The Band’s first hit “The Weight”. His voice would take center stage on their eponymous second album which was released the following year on songs like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek”. Helm also sang lead vocal on “Ophelia”.
The Band broke up during Thanksgiving 1976 when they gave a final concert known as The Last Waltz which was subsequently released theatrically (directed by Martin Scorsese). Helm had an acrimonious relationship with Robertson over publishing, royalties and feeling that he, Manuel, Danko and Hudson weren’t given their due especially in The Last Waltz as detailed in his 1993 autobiography, This Wheel’s on Fire. However, a few days ago, after being informed that Helm only had days to live Robertson visited him at Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York City.
The Band reunited in the 1980s and 1990s without Robertson. I had to chance to see Helm along with Danko and Hudson (Manuel committed suicide in 1986) perform at the Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1993. Danko passed away in 1999. Robertson and Hudson are the only original surviving members of The Band.
Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 resulting in the loss of his singing voice. To help pay his medical bills, Helm staged a series of concerts at his barn in Woodstock, New York called Midnight Ramble which soon earn an enthusiastic following. Initially, Helm confined himself to drumming but gradually his singing voice came back resulting in an unexpected career resurgence in the final years of his life. Between 2007 and 2011, Helm released three Grammy winning albums Dirt Farmer, Electric Dirt and the live Ramble at the Ryman.
Unfortunately, the cancer would return. However, Helm was out there performing almost to the very end even though he was obviously not well as indicated by this review of his March 13th concert in Milwaukee. Helm’s final concert took place exactly one month ago in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Helm postponed a concert appearance at the Hampton Beach Casino in New Hampshire on March 30th but rescheduled it for July 17th. Alas, Levon Helm and his band will not play that night nor any other. R.I.P.
UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that Helm’s last shows actually took place at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York on March 23rd and 24th, not the March 19th show in Ann Arbor as I had reported. I regret the error. With that, I’ll leave you with Helm singing “The Weight” at his very last concert.
I have spent the past two days troubled by an op-ed that ran Tuesday in the New York Times. The author, Kwasi Kwarteng – a British MP of Ghanan decent — penned a provocative obituary of American “Empire” titled “Echoes of the Raj.”
Framing his thoughts of America’s supremacy-slide against the shadows of British imperialism, Kwarteng no doubt enjoys a unique perspective regarding the last gasps of “Great” Britain. After his graduation from Eton, and Cambridge (twice — parting the second time with a DPhil. of History), Mr. Kwarteng has gone on to enjoy success in both political affairs and scholarly letters. In 2010, he was elected Conservative MP for Spelthorne in Surrey, while penning the eminently readable Ghosts of Empire, which reconsiders the travails of global dominion, and the nature of its glory.
With that said, his obvious enthusiasm to chime the death knells of American hegemony rings dully of Schadenfruede — his observations seem rushed with a triumphant gratification at our supposed misfortune.
He opens with the following:
THE Arab Spring, the threat of Iran as an emerging nuclear power, the continuing violence in Syria and the American reluctance to get involved there have all signaled the weakness, if not the end, of America’s role as a world policeman. President Obama himself said in a speech last year: “America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs.”
I would hope that I’m not alone when I say: good. We cannot, should not, and will not use our military whenever and wherever repression occurs. The world is a cruel place — “repression” occurs on a daily basis and it is not in the interest of American national security to pursue a policy of “Infinite War.” Neither did the British at the high-water mark of the so-called Pax Britannica.
But Mr. Kwarteng glibly ignores reasons for our supposed reluctance to engage.Continue reading…
Yuval Levin nails it here:
Imagine if Paul Ryan had produced his budget proposal and put it before his committee, but then John Boehner killed it, insisting that the House should not pass a budget of any kind so that his members could be spared a difficult vote in an election year. Surely had any such thing happened it would have been treated as a monumental leadership crisis among House Republicans and a sign of gross dereliction and disorder.
But when Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad proposed holding a vote on a budget based on the Simpson-Bowles commission recommendations — the first meaningful budget vote by Senate Democrats in three years — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promptly pulled out the rug from under him. The Senate will continue to flout its legal responsibility to pass a federal budget.
This is not a failure of bipartisanship, as Senate Democrats stopped passing budgets when their party still had control of the House. The president, in case you haven’t noticed, is also a Democrat. After health care, Reid didn’t want to force his members in competitive states to cast more tough votes. Any budget that could pass the Democratic-controlled Senate would presumably contain unsustainable deficits as far as the eye can see, broad-based tax increases or both. This is why President Obama’s budget proposals can’t get a single Democratic vote in either house of Congress. Democratic leaders, once bitten by Obamacare and cap and trade, don’t want to do any pre-election governing.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Perhaps the Obama re-election campaign sees some potential for Republican outreach in its preoccupation with Mitt Romney’s alleged mistreatment of Seamus the dog. A 2006 Gallup poll estimated that 43% of Americans own a dog, and that 70% describe themselves as “dog persons.” A 2007 Gallup poll found that the demographic groups most likely to own dogs are among those Obama has the most trouble with, including: whites (47%) and married people (52%).
The Freakonomics website cites a 2008 Gallup poll that found that 33% of dog owners identified as Republican, while just 28% of cat owners called themselves Republicans. The Democratic dog-cat slip was about even. And in July 2008, An AP-Yahoo News poll found that dog owners favored Republican presidential nominee John McCain over Obama, 43% to 34%.
Candidate Obama pledged to launch a “new era of bipartisanship.” But we’ve seen very little outreach or aisle-crossing from the president. And Obama has suffered for it. His RCP average approval rating among Republicans languishes at 11%. Of course, Obama’s dog distraction probably won’t work. Dog owners already have enough reasons to vote against Obama, including the rising cost of dog food.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — the speaker of the House when Obamacare was passed — has an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune highlighting her constitutional confusion. Thinking she has spotted Republican inconsistency, she raps jurisdiction stripping (or “court stripping,” as she calls it) while also hinting the Supreme Court shouldn’t overturn the federal health care law.
Nowhere in her column does Pelosi actually grapple with two issues: the fact that Article III, giving Congress the power to regulate the jurisdiction of federal courts, is actually in the Constitution; she does not identify the constitutionally enumerated power that gives federal government the authority mandate the purchase of health insurance or otherwise implement Obamacare. (Pelosi is also oddly silent on the jurisdiction-stripping in federal laws designed to combat terrorism and restrict habeus corpus appeals in death penalty cases.)
In most cases, conservatives have backed jurisdiction stripping not to prevent federal courts from counteracting the federal exercise of non-enumerated powers but to prevent the courts from using dubious constitutional theories to impose policies on states that have traditionally been outside the federal purview. The Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent states from choosing to recognize same-sex marriage. Neither does the Marriage Protection Act. John Hostettler, the latter bill’s author and a genuine conservative critic of judicial review, actually voted against the federal marriage amendment.
This is not to say that there are no inconsistencies or conservative excesses in criticizing federal courts. But there is no inconsistency is maintaining that the federal courts can rule that certain federal laws conflict with the Constitution while also arguing that if an issue isn’t properly a federal matter, this pertains to the courts as well.
Pelosi thus denies a real enumerated power while asserting an imaginary one. While still speaker, Pelosi memorably responded to constitutional questions about Obamacare by asking, “Are you serious?” In her case, the answer still seems to be no.
Giants rolling around in the media dust!!
It all began with a simple challenge to the actual results of a liberal program. On Sean Hannity’s show the other night, Americans for Prosperity’s Jennifer Stefano challenged Bob Beckel with what Ronald Reagan used to joke about: liberals who know so much – all of it wrong. This is a fun thing to do with Bob Beckel, as the nation has learned through liberal true-believer Beckel’s appearances on Hannity’s TV show and now with Beckel as a co-host of his own show, The Five.
Apparently during the commercial break Stefano had sufficiently exercised Beckel’s legendary impatience with conservatives, and as the show returned to the air, with Hannity noting “we’re back”….Beckel dropped, as they say, the “F-bomb.” Astonishing Hannity and doubtless America.
Once understanding he had said it on the air, Beckel apologized. Although not for the “intent.”
I’ve met Bob Beckel a couple times, the last time on this very segment of the Hannity show. Beckel, liberal politics notwithstanding, is a good soul with a hilarious sense of humor. While a moment like his slip on Hannity can be funny, in fact in the television or radio business, a slip like this can indeed get the perpetrator in hot water. Not funny. He made the best of it the next night on The Five by pouring change into “Bob’s Swear Jar.”
Thus it was something of a surprise to see fellow Fox host Bill O’Reilly take advantage of a colleague’s low moment to publicly twit him by re-running the episode and calling Beckel a “pinhead.” A viewer called O’Reilly out on this the following night, and the host joked that he has never had the problem, presumably a reference to this aging YouTube jewel catching O’Reilly on camera if blessedly off-air. Last night at the end of The Five Beckel took note of O’Reilly’s jab but resisted the doubtless considerable temptation to say, well, One More Thing.
We have no idea what’s going on over there behind the scenes with the Fox crew. One would think that O’Reilly and Beckel would hit it off. O’Reilly once noted that the “far right” hated him, and Beckel, as evidenced, can have problems with conservatives when…ahhhh…. prodded.
Beckel doubtless agrees with O’Reilly’s assessment of the Obama presidency made in that CBS 2008 interview. O’Reilly said of Obama that “I can read people pretty well… I think he’ll govern to the center like Clinton did” O’Reilly, like a lot of people, got taken in by the “hope and change” spin - while Beckel still looks at Obama and sees a liberal centrist.
All of that said, you would think they would get along swimmingly.
But I’m not so sure.
Into my e-mail last night popped this interesting YouTube feature that I was misleadingly told was O’Reilly in a staff meeting, doubtless in a bid to get me to open the attachment. “O’Reilly” had just been informed of the news that President Obama had been eating dogs and that the O’Reilly family dog had been… well…. Check it out for yourself. Maybe it was nothing more than that O’Reilly’s frustration at being spun by Obama just finally boiled over and the sender wanted to call it to our attention.
The sender’s address simply read “Bob@FoxNews.com.” There are presumably a lot of Bobs at Fox News, so I can’t say for sure this was from Beckel. But… but… hmmmmm.
Here it is.
We report. You decide.
Yesterday Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) unveiled a budget proposal that differs in many details than the House-passed budget sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). The Toomey plan balances the budget faster, but is also leaves Medicare and Social Security largely untouched.
Toomey would knock non-defense discretionary spending back to 2006 levels for 2012. He calls for block granting Medicaid to the states and spending just $14 billion more on the program than pre-stimulus levels by 2019. The budget calls for streamlining the tax code to include just three tax brackets rather than the current six. The corporate tax rate would be reduced from 35 percent to 25 percent. The alternative minimum tax is indexed to inflation, Obamacare and its tax increases are repealed. Toomey projects that his budget would achieve balance in 2020 and run a “modest surplus” the following year.
The biggest contrast with Ryan is that it balances the budget within a ten-year window without the political risk of tackling Medicare. In fact, the budget actually spends more on Medicare than President Obama’s. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told reporters that nothing in the budget was incompatible with Ryan-style reforms, however: “This is a ten-year budget and certainly it could accommodate structural changes that save Medicare.”
Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rubio, and Ron Johnson (R-WI) were on hand for the press conference announcing the Toomey budget. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), and David Vitter (R-LA) are also co-sponsors. DeMint and Lee have also signed on to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) budget, which addresses Medicare, eliminates departments, and balances the budget even faster. Paul told me yesterday that he still needed to look at the details of Toomey’s proposal, but noted that he had voted for the Toomey budget last year,.
I usually skip the entertainment page of the “Tampa Daily Bugle and Thunderstorm.” The day usually goes pretty well without knowing what Kim Kardashian is up to (or even who she is). But this morning my progress to the sports page was arrested by a photo of a cute young woman named Kathy Griffin. I should have just admired her youthful, perky looks and moved on. But, foolishly, I read the item with the photo.
It seems our Kathy has a new talk show. And it will feature celebrities (i.e., people who appear on celebrity talk shows). The republic needs another celebrity talk show about like Custer needed more Indians. In Kathy’s case the charges of tiresomeness and flagrant cliché must be added to redundancy. She confesses that her “idols” are Howard Stern, Bill Maher, and Joan Rivers. (How truly sad.) And in the tradition of her heroes, she says she wants her own show to be “edgy” and to “push the envelope.”
Darkness and devils!! With the broadcast air full of “whores,” “sluts,” and F-bombs, and every sexual practice known to man lingered over in prurient detail, there is no envelope left to push. The envelope has long ago been shredded. Someone please tell Kathy, and the folks at Bravo who are enabling her.
It would be funny if it weren’t so serious:
Russia, which is helping Iran develop its nuclear capabilities, which is supporting the murderous Bashar al Assad in Syria, and which suffered its most ignominious and embarrassing military defeat in Afghanistan, is criticizing NATO for pulling troops out of Afghanistan.
Perhaps Russia thinks that after a decade of fighting, America hasn’t yet failed quite as badly as the Russians did (even though we’ve now been there longer than they have). Perhaps they want to see our military embroiled and distracted and spending money for years longer so that we don’t have the resources to deal with the truly dangerous regimes Vladimir Putin is supporting.
Putin is an unreformed KGB Cold Warrior. As long as he remains in power, Russia should be considered an enemy of the US.
Russia is offering the use of Russian territory to set up a logistics base so the US can more easily transport materiel into the Afghan theater. They may actually want to help, not wanting Afghanistan — which borders three mostly-Muslim former Soviet Socialist Republics — to return to being a training ground for terrorists who might inspire Islamic radicals in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
But the hypocrisy/irony of their boosting two of the world’s worst regimes, in the same general region, should be lost on nobody.
Here’s my answer: Tell the Russians that if they care so much about keeping the Afghans in line, they can go do it themselves. Putin and Karzai and the Taliban deserve each other.
In the meantime, I remain comfortable with getting our troops out and letting Afghan warlords know that if any harm befalls Americans anywhere which can be traced back to a region under the warlords’ control, the retribution will be biblical in scale.
I loved R. Emmett Tyrrell’s column today about the angry liberals — particularly this wonderfully and appropriately sarcastic passage about their purported “openness to experience”:
You will recall how open to experience liberals have been when we attempted to introduce vouchers, charter schools, missile defense, and supply-side economics. Liberals are wildly curious about conservative positions on all manner of issues, and as for openness may I suggest you light up a fat cigar, say in an outdoor café, or ride your bicycle without a helmet. See how open our liberal friends are then.
It reminded me of a story a lifelong friend told me years ago. This friend of mine just kinda sorta follows current events, but isn’t particularly political. Well, he was walking across his campus at Dartmouth one day with a friend of his, and the friend, a self-professed “liberal,” was explaining how things are. “You,” the liberal said to my friend, “seem pretty open-minded about [subject X], so I don’t understand why you are so close-minded about [subject Y]. On the other hand, you really are open-minded about [Z], but that’s why I can’t figure out why you are so close-minded about [A, B, and C]….”
“After a few minutes of this,” my own friend later told me, “it was sort of like a light bulb went off in my head. If I agreed with him, I was open-minded, but if I disagreed, I was close-minded — even though it is the same mind in my head involved in every case.” So… “He’s the one with the rigid orthodoxy, not me.” And: “Basically, since he was being so judgmental and the only way I qualified as open-minded was if I shared his position, and since all his positions are liberal, and since he judged me to be close-minded far more often than I was open-minded — well, I guess that makes me a conservative! Although it does seem like it’s more work to be a conservative, because that means that instead of accepting ‘open-minded’ orthodoxy, I actually have to think for myself!”
If you missed yesterday’s discussion with Rep. Paul Ryan and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore, never fear: You can watch the event in its entirity right here.
During the full discussion, which runs about 1 hour and 20 minutes, the panelists and our own R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. expanded on a symposium in the newly unveiled May issue of The American Spectator, which makes the case that choice — returning to citizens the authority over their health care plans and retirement dollars — should be the new conservative credo.
Highlights include: Why LASIK eye surgery is a model for American health care; how the impending collapse of Social Security could galvanize the Millennial generation; and Ryan’s take on the Obama re-election campaign.
Thanks to our guests, Messrs. Ryan and Moore, and our co-host, the Heritage Foundation.
And be sure to pick up the forthcoming magazine to read more on choice from Ryan, Moore, Peter Ferrara, James Piereson and David Bass:
Amidst legislation passed by the House to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline, TransCanada has submitted a new proposal which re-routes the pipeline in Nebraska.
This is a good move on TransCanada’s part because it keeps Keystone in the news and reinforces the Obama Administration’s dogmatism concerning domestic oil production.
All Romney needs to do here is say, “We’re the party of Keystone. They’re the party of Solyndra.”
Those “most influential” lists are of no more account, and no more consistent, than those “best cities to live in” lists. A few years back my own Tampa finished at the top of one of the most livable lists. Just months later Tampa placed 60-somethingth on another list, just below Newark, New Jersey. (The truth is somewhere in between — closer to the second in July and August.)
So on a slow news day it’s justified, though barely, to mention that Florida’s rookie U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio of Miami, is on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list. (The World!)
Rubio is an articulate conservative leader with a very bright future in the Senate, or even higher. So he likely belongs on any list of this sort. (Though I’m obliged to add here that any sensible list of the world’s most influential magazines would not include Time.) Rubio is joined on the list by other politicians: Barack O’Barnum, Mitt Romney, Miz Hillary, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Even list makers can be allowed an eccentricity or two, which is the only reason I can imagine why Ron Paul is also on the list. And there’s also some obscurity, at least for me. Rubio is on the unalphabetical list right between singer Rihanna and cartoonist Ali Ferzat, neither of whom I could pick out of a lineup.
Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, died today of a massive heart attack. He was 82.
He built a media empire known simply as Dick Clark Productions. Clark seemed to be everywhere you turned the dial in the thirteen channel universe. In addition to seeing Clark on American Bandstand on ABC, he also hosted The $25,000 Pyramid on CBS and co-hosted TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes with Ed McMahon on NBC.
In December 2004, Clark suffered a stroke and was forced to miss New Years festivities in 2005. However, Clark partook in the last six ball droppings at Times Square including 2012 with Ryan Seacrest serving as primary host. Although his speech was impaired his youthful spirit which made him America’s oldest teenager was still there. Bringing in 2013 and beyond won’t be quite the same without him.
Ryan Seacrest issued the following statement about Clark:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel.
I’ll leave you with Dick Clark talking to Eric Carmen in between songs on American Bandstand in 1975.
You know your government is in moral freefall when its most ostensibly disciplined unit, the Secret Service, gets caught up in a South American hooker scandal. But leftists, always loath to render moral judgments and eager to find evidence of egalitarianism, may see in the scandal a form of heartening social progress: Under John F. Kennedy, Secret Service members solicited prostitutes for the president; now they order up ladies of the night for themselves.
WARNING: INTERNAL LINKS TO FOLLOW.
The Wall Street Journal does a video interview about Obama hijacking the Common Core educational standards. Worth considering.
The AP reports that the Rev. Robert Jeffress has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Jeffress, you may remember, caused a commotion last October when he called Mormonism “a cult” and declared that Romney is not a Christian.
Jeffress theological views haven’t changed. Jeffress believes Christians should support Romney in November “in spite of his Mormon faith,” because Obama, though a Christian, embraces non-biblical principles, while Romney embraces biblical principles like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. (In fact, even when he made the supposedly controversial comments, he suggested he’d vote for Romney over Obama.)
This puts the liberal media in a bit of a bind, because Jeffress was often the only example they could cite of the Christian right’s alleged anti-Mormon bigotry. And it helps reinforce the argument I make today that most of the anti-Mormonism in this campaign is coming from the left.
Have a little Paul Ryan with your coffee and cornflakes this morning.
The American Spectator is proud to partner with the Heritage Foundation to host a discussion on choice in public policy, featuring Rep. Ryan and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore.
Festivities will be streamed live on the Interwebs over at the Heritage event page. Please join us at 8:30 a.m. EST!
The discussion, moderated by our own R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., will focus on how conservatives can reinvigorate public programs by giving citizens a choice: the New Deal, or a better deal? As Ryan writes in the our forthcoming May issue:
It is so rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract. But that is where we are.
The President’s approach gives more power to unelected bureaucrats, takes more from hardworking taxpayers, and commits our great nation to a future of debt, doubt, and decline. This approach is proving unworkable—in our Congress, in our courts, and in our communities.
The contrast between the President’s approach and ours could not be clearer. We put our trust in citizens, not government. Our budget returns power to individuals, to families, and to communities.
I saw this posted on Real Clear Politics, and it’s worth a listen by the Romney people.
It’s an audio of Mark Levin on “The Speech Romney Should Give.”
Governor Romney gave a speech to a group of wealthy supporters and made the classic moderate Republican mistake of dissing “true believers” — i.e., conservatives.
Somebody on Team Romney needs to have a discussion on conservatives with the candidate. The Governor is clearly a smart guy, a good man and he would be head and shoulders a better president than his soon-to-be opponent.
But if this attitude persists it can either lose an election that shouldn’t be lost… or lose an administration that will need every last bit of conservative support to succeed.
Take a listen to Levin’s “Romney speech.” Appropriate: The Patton theme song!
This morning the House Budget Committee held hearings about strengthening the social safety net. In his opening statement, Chairman Paul Ryan pointed to the country’s experience with welfare reform in arguing that reforms of entitlement programs can benefit their recipients:
On the eve of the 1996 welfare reform, Democratic senator Frank Lautenberg voiced his concern that the bill would transform America into a Third World nation, leaving “children hungry and homeless . . . begging for money, begging for food, and even at eight and nine years old engaging in prostitution.”
Senator Lautenberg was not alone in making these kinds of apocalyptic predictions about that historic law. But what happened in reality?
Transforming welfare – by, among other things, instituting meaningful work requirements, setting time limits, and empowering states to design more effective programs – cut caseloads in half against a backdrop of falling poverty rates.
There was the single greatest reduction in poverty among children since the 1960s. Poverty among children in female-headed households fell from 55.4 percent in 1991, to 39.3 percent by 2001.
The Congressional Research Service said this past December that, “Since 1996 welfare reform, progress appears to have been largely sustained in both reducing welfare dependency and poverty among children in female-headed families, in spite of the recent recession.”
I made a similar point in a column last year.
Asked at a press conference Sunday in Colombia to comment on Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands, President Obama made reference to “the Maldives.” This is a gaffe on top of a gaffe: The Maldives are in the Indian Ocean, and he obviously meant the Malvinas — the Argentine government’s name for The Falklands. But he shouldn’t have been trying to say “Malvinas,” either; that’s an Argentine nationalist propaganda term that implicitly denies the right to self-determination of the 3000 British subjects who live on the Falklands.
On the substance, Obama asserted a position of neutrality on the status of the Falklands, which Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has been banging the drums about lately. The Reagan administration tried for a time to maintain a stance of neutrality thirty years ago when the junta that ruled Argentina at the time invaded the Falklands, and there was serious discussion within the administration of tilting US policy toward the Argentine side; ultimately, Reagan approved military aid to Britain that helped win the Falklands War. One hopes that neutrality won’t become as practically untenable as it did in the 80s, and Kirchner’s Britain-bashing will remain confined to public statements and toothless UN initiatives. Still, as the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro suggests, there’s something unseemly about Obama’s unwillingness to stand by our British allies.
Have I started a new tradition? It has been suggested that the Worcester Tea Party Tax Day Rally should feature an AmSpec contributor from here on out and a fedora has already been tossed into the ring on behalf of Stacy McCain.
Well, whoever gets the nod, just know that Worcester is pretty nice in April.
I took Patriots’ Day off and went to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays and can tell you that Red Sox Nation does not heart Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
Daniel Bard, who has been converted into a starting pitcher, was pitching a beautiful game in his second career big league start. He went toe to toe with Rays starter James Shields. The game was scoreless into the seventh. Bard retired the first two hitters. But then Bard walked Sean Rodriguez, gave up a single to Desmond Jennings and then walked Carlos Pena on four pitches.
At this point, Bard should be out of the game. The bases are loaded and he’s thrown 107 pitches. Again, this is his second big league start. Instead out comes pitching coach Bob McClure. Whatever McClure tells Bard it doesn’t work because Bard walks Evan Longoria on four pitches bringing home Rodriguez. It would turn out to be the only run of the game.
Finally, Valentine comes out to get Bard. When Valentine turned around to go back to the dugout he was jeered as if he were wearing a Yankees uniform. I’ve never seen Terry Francona received like that at Fenway. I turned to the guy next to me and said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a ‘Bobby V sucks’ chant.” The gentleman countered, “We want Tito.”
Tito would never, and I mean never, rip a player in public.
No doubt, Valentine didn’t endear himself to Red Sox Nation when he ripped Kevin Youkilis for his commitment to the game. He certainly didn’t endear himself to Dustin Pedroia. Bobby V. subsequently apologized to Youk. Currently, Youkilis is nursing a sore groin and was not in the lineup today.
This is going to be a long, long season.
When the Congressional Budget Office and similar entitities churn out their projections on how much revenue a tax policy change will bring in, they often assume that the change won’t have an impact on the economy. This is called “static scoring.” Under static estimates, tax increases necessarily bring in all the expected revenue without damaging the economy while tax cuts are scored as revenue losers without accounting for how they might help the economy grow faster.
The alternative is “dynamic scoring,” which takes into account the fact that the revenue losses from pro-growth tax cuts will be at least partially offset by faster economic growth and the revenue gains from tax increases can be at least partially diminished by slower growth. While the assumptions behind static scoring are demonstrably false, Josh Barro correctly notes that dynamic scoring can be too optmistic about the amount of growth a tax cut will stimulate.
Why does this matter? Throughout the presidential campaign, both parties will be throwing out numbers as to what their tax proposals will do to the long-term budget picture and the economy. Those numbers will be based on static and dynamic estimates. Mitt Romney’s plans will be based in part on the Paul Ryan blueprint, which balances the budget faster under some dynamic scores and assumes that maintaining the historic tax burden will lead to more rapid economic growth. Barack Obama is assuming that higher taxes are compatible with robust growth.
Over at the Huffington Post, Lord Conrad Black, himself the victim of some highly questionable prosecutorial decisions, picks up on a column I wrote recently for the Mobile Press-Register (linking to it within his piece) about a former Mobile County Commissioner hounded into a gun conviction in a wholly unfair way. There will be more to write on the extraordinary Nodine story later, but for now, let’s just focus on Black’s point, which was also my point.
I wrote: “Prosecutorial overreach (or outright abuse) also occurs far too frequently, with federal prosecutors using so much discretionary power that they run roughshod over citizens who exhibit not the slightest bit of mens rea, or “guilty mind” — in other words, no evidence of criminal intent.”
Black, much more colorfully, wrote: “Until prosecutors, too, are subject to a reasonable system of checks and balances like all other parts of government, the lady of American justice will be in danger of becoming a raddled strumpet, and the law an incurably spavined ass.”
This is a serious problem. It is related to the broader problem of “overcriminalization” which a coalition of right, center, and left-leaning groups, led by the conservative Heritage Foundation, has formed to combat.
By the way, as for Stephen Nodine: Black became aware of his case because both have been inmates at the same federal penitentiary. It is quite arguable that neither one of them should have been there.
If the Obama administration’s foreign policy apparatus were a dog, it would be the legendary dog which chases parked cars. It bangs its head, is momentarily confused, learns nothing, and does it again.
After a few years of utter failure in containing Iran (failure which, to be fair, precedes Obama by years and for which the Bush administration and prior administrations also share blame), Obama is going back to the negotiating table with the regime’s “negotiators.”
One of the few clear-eyed takes on this travesty comes, not surprisingly, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who argues that Iran is being given a “freebie” and that “[Iran got from negotiators] five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition.”
This in itself is not as remarkable as the fact that this was announced within 48 hours of the North Koreans showing the administration just what it thinks of America’s laughable sticks and carrots by attempting to launch a “satellite” on a ballistic missile despite our threats that we would — wait for it — not deliver food aid if they went ahead.
President Obama has intentionally projected an aura of weakness, from his Mideast apology tour to his stabbing our eastern European allies in the back regarding missile defense. The world knows that America has a president who objects to American preeminence and strength, and he’s doing all he can to make us just another nation. For those who didn’t already believe it, the “more flexibility” moment with Russian President Medvedev was an unvarnished insight into the mind of the most anti-American president in this nation’s history.
With this context, the administration’s apparent stupidity — by which I mean inability to learn even from a painful lesson — is equally well understood as a commitment to their goal of taking America down a peg in actual and perceived power. They’re not just the stupid dog chasing parked cars — though they are that in part. There’s a method to their madness, and it’s a method that has our enemies smiling as they stand around their uranium-enriching centrifuges while the Russians laugh all the way to the bank.
In my column on today’s main site, I mention Brian Beutler’s defense of the Buffett Rule. He argues that the media is getting the story wrong, because the minimum tax proposal was never intended to be a stand-alone solution to the country’s fiscal problems.
It wouldn’t on its own solve the country’s long-run budget problems, but that wasn’t the point — this was a small piece of a broader package of fiscal policies Obama had introduced. But it served a huge symbolic purpose. The real point was to pull back the veil on the GOP’s true vision for the country, force them to deal sensibly on key national priorities.
Beutler also notes that it will raise more revenue if the Bush tax cuts remain in place, because more millionaires will need to pay the Buffett alternative minimum rate (though the estimated $160 billion over ten years still isn’t much). The widely touted $47 billion figure assumes the tax cuts expire, which means the small boost “would come on top of a flood of new revenue that would swiftly fill the country’s budget hole.” He concludes that the Buffett Rule still plays a useful pedagogic role:
All Buffett Rule critics knock Obama for not pursuing more comprehensive tax reforms. If they’d paid even passing attention to the events of 2011, they’d know that the only tax reforms Republicans back either raise no revenue, or are conditioned on the idea of locking in the Bush tax cuts permanently. They imply future cuts to government programs that neither Democrats nor most Americans are prepared to accept, but are at the root of the GOP’s tax strategy. The Buffett Rule is designed to make those demands politically noxious — and perhaps clear the way toward a more reasonable approach to balancing the country’s priorities.
But maintaining the spending commitments the Democrats want to protect also requires higher taxes than Republicans, many Democrats, and most Americans are prepared to accept. The Democrats are still pretending that this can be done exclusively with Buffett-style tax increases on the rich without asking anything of the middle class. The numbers suggest otherwise.
Whatever criticisms can be made of what Paul Ryan wants to do to the structure of Medicare, Republicans who support his plan have at least given some details of how they would rein in spending commitments to keep the tax levels they want. The Democrats are, for the most part, not acknowledging that the alternative vision implies higher taxes than just a return to the top Clinton tax rate or the Buffett Rule.
My remarks at the Tea Party Tax Day Rally in Worcester, Massachusetts have been posted on YouTube.
1. Mitt Romney overcame his biggest obstacle to winning the Republican nomination when Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign, but pockets of resistance to the all-but-certain nominee remain. In Colorado, a Conservative Unity slate of Santorum and Ron Paul supporters defeated Romney backers for delegate slots at the Republican National Convention.
While Romney took 13 delegates to Santorum’s six, reports indicate that at least 13 of the 14 unpledged delegates were Paul supporters who intend to vote for the Texas congressman on the first ballot at Tampa. So not all Santorum backers are ready to ratify Romney and Paul is continuing to amass delegates even in states where he lagged in the popular vote.
2. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made clear that team Obama was focusing on Romney, however, when he used such strong terms — “ridiculous and very misleading” — to push back against the Republican frontrunner’s claim that women accounted for 92.3 percent of the jobs lost under Obama.
3. Dick Cheney made an appearance at the Wyoming state Republican convention and gave his first public speech since his heart transplant surgery. The former vice president called Obama an “unmitigated disaster to the country” and predicted Romney would do a “whale of a job.” Cheney also defended the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques. Cheney reportedly looked healthy and spoke for an hour and 15 minutes.
4. We’ll know soon enough, but I have to wonder if Orrin Hatch erred in angrily attacking the conservatives who want to deny him the Republican senatorial nomination in Utah. By all accounts, Hatch was pulling away from his opponents. Why do anything to mobilize them?
5. Newt Gingrich’s campaign is broke, but he’s obviously in a good position to benefit from Santorum’s departure in Texas and North Carolina. Will he?
6.. Former National Review editor John O’Sullivan has posted some characteristically interesting thoughts on the John Derbyshire matter. O’Sullivan mounts something close to a defense of Derbyshire, but a very qualified one, handling the issues with care. One wonders what Derb’s piece would have looked like if O’Sullivan had edited it.
President Obama’s economic policies “were incredibly effective,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday, crediting the president with having prevented a depression.
While admitting it is “still a very tough economy out there,” Geithner said the administration is “making a lot of progress” and said “the broad indicators are pretty encouraging.”
Interviewed on ABC’s This Week, Geithner was asked by host George Stephanopoulos about the gloomy forecasts from economists such as New York University professor Nouriel Roubini, who called the current recovery “anemic, subpar, below trend, below potential.”
Geithner suggested Obama could not be blamed for that, saying “if he’d had more support from his opponents in Congress, then we could have got more things passed that would have put more people back to work more quickly.”
During the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and had a nearly veto-proof majority in the Senate. During that period, Congress passed the president’s $800 billion economic stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act healthcare bill, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and other key elements of Obama’s economic agenda. Geithner credited the president’s policies with spurring growth.
“The actions the president took, at considerable political cost at that time — as you know, he had no support for them from the Republicans — were incredibly effective in preventing a great depression, getting growth restarted again very, very quickly,” Geithner said.
The Treasury secretary also dismissed as “a ridiculous argument” the claims this week by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that women had suffered as a result of the Obama administration’s economic policies.
“The president’s policies are making the economy stronger,” Geithner told Stephanopoulos. “And the alternatives proposed by his opposition would be devastating, not just to the safety net but to investments in education. They would be damaging to the economy.”
Geithner also appeared Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press as well as on the CBS program Face the Nation, where he called Romney’s argument “misleading,” and told host Bob Schieffer, “It’s a meaningless way to look at the basic contours of the economy in that period of time, again because it starts artificially at a time when the president came into office and the crisis was still building momentum.”
In an e-mail to CBS, Romney campaign spokewoman Andrea Saul said: “If they move the starting point to the beginning of their so-called recovery, they will find women have benefited from less than one-eighth of the meager job creation. … The President should stop making excuses for his failures — he is entitled to his own spin but not his own facts.”
The Washington Post usually operates as the company newsletter, with the federal government the company, of course. Today, however, the Post ran an article that indirectly makes a powerful argument for school choice and empowering families.
Darryl Robinson, an African-American freshman at Georgetown, writes about how his time in D.C. public schools, even relatively better charter schools, left him unprepared for college:
Entering my freshman year at Georgetown University, I should have felt as if I’d made it. The students I once put on a pedestal, kids who were fortunate enough to attend some of the nation’s top private and public schools, were now my classmates. Having come from D.C. public charter schools, I worked extremely hard to get here.
But after arriving on campus before the school year, with a full scholarship, I quickly felt unprepared and outmatched — and it’s taken an entire year of playing catch-up in the classroom to feel like I belong. I know that ultimately I’m responsible for my education, but I can’t help blaming the schools and teachers I had in my early years for my struggles today.
It’s an arresting article that explores the extraordinary frustrations of a kid who obviously is talented and determined to learn. Brought up by his grandmother, he was accused of cheating when he did well! He writes: “Failure was more believable than achievement.”
Children in broken families and broken communities will never have an easy time breaking out. But the monopoly government school system often seems determined to hold them back. We desperately need an educational process which better responds to families and students. We need a system with far more educational choices, especially for the most disadvantaged.
Thankfully, it looks like Darryl Robinson will make it, with extraordinary personal effort and grandmotherly support. But it shouldn’t be so hard for him and so many other kids like him.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?