Politics

The Nation's Pulse

Jesse Jackson and the Renewed Fight to Racialize America

By 8.26.14

What if James Foley, the journalist kidnapped and murdered by ISIS — had been black? Would he have still been killed?

If Juan Williams, a black man, were on a Fox News Sunday panel with the white Bob Woodward, Laura Ingraham and Karl Rove, all discussing the events in Ferguson, would the panel still be a “white panel”?

Was 9/11, which killed hundreds of blacks and Latinos, a racist attack?

We’ll never know the answer to the first question — although we know for a fact that the Rev. Jesse Jackson got headlines and television coverage aplenty years back by securing (along with the then-unknown Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan) the 1984 release of a captured Navy pilot in Syria who was black. 

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Freedom Watch

The Constitution Lives in Ferguson

By 8.21.14

The Constitution lives. Even as the news is brutal — it instructs for those willing to pay attention.

American journalist James Foley has been beheaded by ISIS. And an American teenager named Michael Brown was shot dead by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer named Darren Wilson.

In the case of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri remains in an uproar. The town is awash in protesters, both from Ferguson and outsiders. There has been a steady diet of rioting and looting. The President of the United States is involved. The Attorney General of the United States is involved, going to Ferguson personally just yesterday. The governor of Missouri, the lieutenant governor, and attorney general of Missouri are all involved, as is the head of the Missouri State Police and the state’s National Guard. Both of Missouri’s U.S. senators have weighed in, as have members of the state legislature. All of this in addition to the mayor of Ferguson, and the Ferguson police chief.

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The Trumped-Up Charges Spectator

Rick Perry Isn’t Guilty—But I Might Be

By 8.20.14

Governor Rick Perry is clearly not guilty of the charges in his indictment. I sure am, though. Anybody want to indict me?

Perry, of course, was indicted for vetoing the funding of the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Drunkenness/Integrity Unit after the unit’s chief public drunk proved herself to have none of the integrity she is charged with upholding. When she’s sober, D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg fires assistants who refuse to lie to internal affairs investigators and persists in unethical vendettas against Republicans such as Tom DeLay long after they’ve been exonerated. When she’s drunk, she drives all over the road, and then berates and threatens the officers who arrest her.

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Political Hay

Lehmberg Democrats Drunk on Their Own Power

By 8.19.14

You might not have seen the arrest or jailhouse videos from Rosemary Lehmberg’s DWI episode when it happened in the spring of 2013, but there’s a good chance you saw them over the weekend. If you still haven’t, we can fix that by having you click here and here.

That Lehmberg, district attorney for Travis County, Texas, isn’t at least as famous as Toronto's crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford is no surprise. Given how sloppy and belligerent she was during the arrest, not to mention her staggering blood-alcohol level of .239 (three times the legal limit), it is a bit odd that she was a virtual unknown outside the state of Texas until over the weekend.

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A Further Perspective

From Kent State to Ferguson

By 8.19.14

Ah, social justice. Here we go again—and it is again. Consider these words:

The first issue is the unfilled promise of full justice and dignity for Blacks and other minorities. Blacks, like many others of different races and ethnic origins, are demanding today that the pledges of the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation be fulfilled now. Full social justice and dignity—an end to racism in all its human, social and cultural forms—is a central demand of today’s students—black, brown, and white.

This might sound like something coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, right now. But in fact I have just quoted the preface to a report by the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest issued in September, 1970 following the shooting of four white students at Ohio’s Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard on May 4. The Kent State shootings were followed in turn eleven days later by the police killing of two students, both black, at Mississippi’s Jackson State.

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Live From New York

Bill de Blasio’s War on Education

By 8.18.14

With the next school year just a month away, New York City’s progressive mayor Bill de Blasio is continuing his war against academic achievement.

In his bid for mayor, de Blasio the class warrior cried that there are two New Yorks. He wasn’t entirely wrong: there’s the New York of Bill de Blasio and the New York of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo is an interesting character in American politics. As the Democratic Party moves to placates the left wing of its base—including teachers unions—Cuomo, setting his sights on a future White House bid, has been very tepid about moving too far from the center. He has compromised with the Republican-controlled state senate on many issues, one being charter schools.

Much to the chagrin of the progressive mayor, who seems to want to shackle lower-income children to underperforming public schools, Governor Cuomo worked with the legislature earlier this year to protect charter schools—and they seem set to thrive in the Big Apple.

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Ben Stein's Diary

A Peacemaker Who Never Had It Easy

By 8.9.14

So, now it’s forty years since Richard Nixon resigned. The Peacemaker. Humiliated. Spat on by people not worthy to empty his bedpan. Disgraced for rumors of rumors of rumors. Even now, forty years on, a genuine genius, a man of character, George Will, an American icon of intelligence, gets roped into repeating the hoary chestnut that Nixon purposely prolonged the war in Vietnam before he was elected in 1968 to deprive Hubert Humphrey of the prize. There’s no story there except that even so brilliant a prize as Will repeats pool hall gossip about Nixon that has been disproved a million times, most recently in Pat Buchanan’s superb new book on the 1968 campaign, The Greatest Comeback.

The seductiveness of urinating on the grave of a historic figure of peace is apparently overpowering.

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Inspectors General: Obama Administration Blocks Investigations

By on 8.8.14 | 3:25PM

In a scathing letter released this morning, forty-seven inspectors general hammered the Obama administration, specifically singling out several bureaucratic agencies that have been less than forthcoming in ongoing investigations. The letter, addressed to several congressmen—including Darrell Issa, House Republicans’ chief watchdog as the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—sums up what many were already thinking: the administration is stalling.

The letter, which can be found in full here at the Washington Examiner, begins:

The undersigned federal Inspectors General write regarding the serious limitations on access to records that have recently impeded the work of Inspectors General at the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Justice. 

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Culture Vultures

Pol Campaigns Naked and Unafraid

By 8.8.14

San Francisco Board of Supervisors candidate George Davis campaigned in Times Square completely naked earlier this week. He lacks clothes; geographic literacy, all the more so. If not for the politician’s mistaken belief that the “Manhattanization” of his city includes New Yorkers winning the vote in San Francisco elections, the nothing-to-hide politician might have earned my support. Rare is the honest politician who bares all.

It’s plain strange to campaign on the East Coast for an office on the West Coast, to say nothing of doing so with one’s junk staring at passersby. Davis regards nudity as “more comfortable, natural, and free.” For whom? Sadly, the people who most want to be naked are the people we most want to be clothed. Their freedom oppresses us.

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