The Nation's Pulse

Andrew Tahmooressi’s Imprisonment Is Something We Should Be Ashamed Of

By 9.8.14

What to make of the peculiar situation unfolding just across the border in Tijuana, where U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi languishes in solitary confinement for the crime of mistakenly crossing the border with his personal weapons in his truck on March 31?

Nothing to inspire confidence, for certain. In fact, Tahmooressi’s ordeal might just confirm many of our worst fears about the Obama administration.

The Tahmooressi story sounds more like a schlocky Hollywood script than a real-life tale. Its protagonist is a decorated Marine veteran of two tours of duty in Afghanistan, honorably discharged in 2012 and diagnosed with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); he was moving to the San Diego area specifically for treatment of his PTSD. And Tahmooressi’s ordeal is mind-bogglingly unjust; he mistakenly crossed the border from San Ysidro, California, into Mexico because he missed an interstate exit that would have taken him to dinner with friends. Instead, the twenty-five-year old war hero wound up at a Mexican border station driving a pickup truck full of his possessions, which included two rifles and a pistol, plus ammunition.

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Hoover Institution Hits Rand Paul on Pacifism

By on 9.4.14 | 5:58PM

Last night Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show, to make it clear he believes ISIS has declared war on America. The Senator was clearly irritated at being portrayed as an “isolationist.” He made plain that he believes the President should seek constitutional authority before dealing with ISIS. 

I’ve been critical of the Senator for what I termed his “Obama-Lite” approach to U.S. foreign policy. He is right — he is not an isolationist. And certainly saying presidents should get — as did George W. Bush in Iraq — the support of Congress before an intervention is correct.

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Freedom Watch

We Need Conferences Like AFP’s Defending the American Dream

By 9.4.14

“It’s time for leadership,” said a steely-eyed Carly Fiorina to a standing ovation from over 3,000 conservative activists in a packed ballroom at Dallas’s Omni Hotel last Saturday. But for Fiorina and the attendees at Americans For Prosperity’s Defending The American Dream Summit, as for far too many Americans, that leadership is nowhere to be found in Washington.

Leadership, or the lack of it, was the overwhelming theme at Defending The American Dream, an annual event AFP first took on the road in 2013 (Orlando) after six years in Washington. The summit presents its attendees with two days of high-profile stump speeches and copious breakout sessions with titles like “Outsmarting The Left On The Phones,” “#Hacking The Marketplace—Innovation In A Tough Economy” and “It’s About The Children: The Future Of School Choice,” but mostly it serves as a weekend of fellowship and comparing of notes for the hard core of Americans For Prosperity’s employees and 2.3 million members.

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Another Perspective

Don’t You Wish Voting Didn’t Feel Like a Placebo?

By 9.4.14

They don’t really do anything, these buttons we press to close elevator doors or cross the street, but we press them anyway. They’re called placebo buttons, and they exist only to give us the illusion of control. In cynical moods, I’d add that dial in the voting booth to the category. Pick red or pick blue—now we’ve got your consent to take your money, throw you in jail, or require your children to brush their teeth in day care. And it goes without saying, if you sell Whoppers to Sri Lankans, we get a third of that action, too.

Only I haven’t consented to any of these practices—not explicitly. I think the federal government ought to stick to raising armies, punishing piracy, and erecting Forts, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings in the District of Columbia. I suppose I consent to the rest of Congress’ enumerated powers under the Constitution, but that’s it.

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A Further Perspective

Republicans Can Learn a Lot From Burger King’s Move to Canada

By 9.3.14


The merger of U.S. hamburger giant Burger King with Tim Horton’s, Canada’s favorite coffee shop, will create the world’s third largest “fast food” company with a total of 18,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. It is also a piercing wake-up call for the U.S. because the new company will make its global headquarters in Canada’s province of Ontario. That underscores what savvy business everywhere have learned, namely, that the United States is an increasingly less attractive place to do business. “Canada has quietly and politely become, well, more AMERICAN than America,” says columnist Stephen Green.
Since 2003, more than thirty-five major American companies have moved their headquarters and reincorporated overseas.
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The Charlie Watch

Is Charlie Crist the Only Dem Who Wants Obama’s Help?

By 9.3.14

Democrats have become quite good at turning out their voters on Election Day in presidential years. But not so good in off years. Which may help explain the peculiar approach to the governor’s race taken by rookie Democrat Charlie Crist. 

You may well ask, what’s a Charlie Crist race without a peculiar approach? Point well taken. But with President Obama’s popularity in Florida tanking, and Obamacare never having been popular in the Sunshine State, you might wonder why Crist—who was Florida’s Republican governor from 2007 to 2011 and wishes now to be governor again, this time as a Democrat—has been taking every opportunity to praise Obamacare and its namesake. He has chided real Democrats for trying to put some distance between themselves and Obama. Unlike other Democrats running in tight races where Obama is unpopular, Crist says nothing would tickle him pinker than to have Obama come to Florida and campaign for him. (This may well happen. There are places in Florida where you can walk from the west coast of the peninsula to the east without ever stepping off of a golf course.)

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Political Hay

The Sad Irony of John Lewis Playing the Race Card

By 9.2.14

I will never be out-n**gered again” was the vow George Wallace made after losing to John Patterson the 1958 Democratic primary for governor of Alabama. And so he wasn’t. The very next year, his sights already set on second run for governor in 1962, Wallace proclaimed:

There’s some people who’ve gone over the state and said, “Well, George Wallace has talked too strong about segregation.” Now let me ask you this: how in the name of common sense can you be too strong about it? You’re either for it or you’re against it. There’s not any middle ground as I know of.

The strategy of playing the race card, by then a Democratic Party staple (as Bruce Bartlett notes in detailed fashion in Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past), delivered the political victory Wallace sought. By January of 1963, George Corley Wallace was being inaugurated as the new Democratic Governor of Alabama, famously declaring in his inaugural address:

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The Right Prescription

Bureaucrats Have Revived End-of-Life Counseling

By 9.2.14

Remember the controversial provision of Obamacare that would have paid physicians extra money to provide “end-of-life counseling” to seniors whose conditions required expensive medical care? That feature of “reform” caused such a public outcry that the Democrats had to drop it from the final legislation. But the government apparatchiks didn’t give up. On Christmas Day, 2010, it came to light that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) planned to implement the program anyway. Within a week, however, vehement objections by clinicians and citizens alike forced the CMS bureaucrats to back off once more. Well, they’re at it again.

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The Presidential Spectator

No More Affirmative Action Presidents

By 9.2.14

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people “moderately disapprove” of Barack Obama’s performance as president and 39 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now “strongly disapprove” of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

With many people now acting as if it is time for “a woman” to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a president of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.

It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect “a woman” president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons.

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Donald Trump Takes Ice Bucket Challenge: Dares Obama

By on 8.28.14 | 11:17AM

So Homer Simpson and Mike  Tyson challenged Donald Trump to take the ice bucket challenge.

Now, in typical Trump style, The Donald has taken the challenge.

Yes, you read that right. Take a look right here and you will see Donald Trump get dumped on — hair and all — by Miss Universe and Miss USA.

But not before challenging… yes… President Obama.

That’s right. Sitting there atop Trump Tower, hair combed and looking Trumpish, The Donald gets soaked with ice and a couple bottles of Trump Ice Natural Spring Water.

But not before challenging the President of the United States to man up and take the ALS ice bucket challenge himself.

Over to you, Mr. President.

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