Another Perspective

Another Perspective

What About Obama’s Intransigence?

By 11.21.14

Two weeks ago Barack Obama presided over the electoral cataclysm he and his party richly deserved, but managed to escape, in 2012.

The Democrats lost eight Senate seats, a number that will grow to nine on December 6 when Bill Cassidy finishes off the mortally wounded Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. It might even climb to ten if West Virginia’s Joe Manchin gets around to doing the political math in his home state. In the House, an already quite healthy Republican majority reached a size not seen in nearly a century: officially 244 seats as of this writing, with three recounts and two runoffs possibly running the total as high as 249. And at the state level, Obama’s party was wiped out in gubernatorial elections as well as state legislative races; Republicans now have total control of half the country’s state governments, while Democrats rule only seven.

Another Perspective

The Online Lynching of Bill Cosby

By 11.17.14

The Internet is a wonderful thing. If not for the Internet, I would not have the privilege of writing articles and blog posts for The American Spectator over the past five years. But like any wonderful thing, the Internet can be used to commit harm. Who could forget the horrifying images this past summer of the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS? Sadly, we can now add American aid worker Peter Kassig to that list. The web is also cluttered with thousands of jihadist videos exhorting their followers to kill Americans in the name of Islamic radicalism. Closer to home there is also the terror of online bullying of children.

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Will Federalism Trump the Drug War?

By 11.14.14

Americas are angry with their politicians but nuanced in their political opinions. Voters in Alaska simultaneously ousted their Democratic Senator and legalized the use of marijuana. Floridians gave 505,000 more votes medical use of pot than they did in re-electing Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley took their places on the pantheon of the Right while arguing against drug prohibition. The electorate appears to be moving their way.

Which makes sense. If you want to limit government and protect individual liberty, it’s impossible to ignore the ill consequences of arresting and imprisoning millions of people for using illicit substances. Drug use is bad. Arresting people for using drugs is worse. 

But conservatives have another reason to abandon the drug war: federalism.

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How Republicans Can Win the White House

By 11.7.14

While it sounds simplistic, in order to win in 2016, the Republican Party must define its objective. That objective is to win the White House. It is not to embrace ideological purity for the sake of itself. With its taking of the Senate, the Republican Party now has the chance to redefine itself — otherwise it may remain a foraging dinosaur lost in contemporary times.

The Republican Party needs to be a party of rigid principle: its first principle should be flexibility. The GOP has allowed itself to be viewed as the party of insular, middle-aged white men — ensconced in country clubs playing liar’s dice in plaid pants, waiting to tee off at twilight golf. Some in the party have shown a remarkable willingness to drive off the proverbial cliff with their flag fluttering, heads held high with self-esteem — all in the name of values. The GOP has inflicted much damage on itself by becoming labeled as anti-immigration, anti-women and minorities, anti-planet Earth, and anti-gays and lesbians. Many Republicans are hardly like this and are embarrassed by such an unwise, unyielding, and unsuccessful marketing message.

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Is Jason Aldean the Obama of Country Music?

By 11.6.14

On Tuesday night, whether he wants to face it or not, President Obama received a stunning blow from the 2014 election results. The prestigious 2014 Country Music Association (CMA) annual awards extravaganza gave a similar comeuppance to country music superstar, Jason Aldean. The message? Personal popularity doesn’t give anyone the license to flaunt either America’s Constitutional principles or the Judeo-Christian values that are the protection of our people and the foundation of our society. Everyone knows President Obama’s story; let’s look at Aldean’s.

Jason Aldean enjoys pushing the envelope in his music and his behavior, generating the same kind of fan adulation that President Obama had in the early years. Plus, just as Mr. Obama promised to “transform” America, Aldean has vowed to move country music into “uncharted territory.” But some die-hard country music fans didn’t like the new direction when he began merging rap and country in his “Dirt Road Anthem” and “1994.” Many complained that he wasn’t “country” anymore.

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Fort Hood Five Years Later

By 11.5.14

It is the morning of November 5, 2014, and Republicans and conservative activists are overjoyed with last night’s election results which, among other things, saw the GOP take over the Senate, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker winning his third election in four years and Republicans regaining the Governor’s mansion in Massachusetts (subject to a possible recount).

But this morning, the joy is tempered by both sadness and anger. For it was five years ago today, that 12 soldiers, a civilian, and an unborn child were slaughtered in an act of both treason and terrorism by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. As Hasan killed his fellow soldiers, he shouted “Allahu Akbar!!!” over and over again. In his possession were business cards bearing the inscription “S of A,” meaning Soldier of Allah.

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Drugs ’R Us — What About Those Side Effects?

By 11.3.14

The marketing of today’s wonder drugs, on which the pharmaceutical industry spends an estimated $4 billion a year, includes warnings about the potentially sinister side effects of those medications. The chilling disclaimers are found in the very fine print of magazine advertisements for the latest cholesterol inhibitor, or in the rapid-fire voice-over about side effects heard over and over again in TV ad spots touting pills for heart burn or insomnia.

For example, a popular sleep aid medication starkly warns of side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, hallucinations, muscle aches and pains and even addictive dependency. Pretty tough trade off for good night’s sleep… even if the side effects are “rare and usually temporary,” as the disclaimer says. Sleep through the night, have hallucinations and diarrhea all day?

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Of What Consequence a GOP Senate?

By 10.27.14

If it’s good enough for Nate Silver, it’s good enough for me. The Republicans have a better, much better than 50-50 chance of winning the Senate and the Congress in general.

Nate Silver, as you will recall is the statistical wizard that put to shame Gallup, Rasmussen, and other polling organizations in the last election cycle by calling the election almost perfectly. He is a political liberal but a scrupulous observer of data on his website, FiveThirtyEight, which is currently forecasting the Republicans as having a 63 percent chance of winning a majority in the Senate, a number which has been as high as 66 last week and no lower than 53 during the campaign season. Yet, he hedges his assessment by claiming that “Republicans have the edge, but they haven’t been able to put Democrats away.”

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Dissolve the Federal Election Commission

By 10.27.14

Suppose I was opposed to the election of Hillary Clinton as our next president. Well, don’t suppose: I am. But suppose I were a wealthy man and paid to produce a television ad that centered on a video of Mizz Clinton’s recent speech in which she said, Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create [sic] jobs. You know that old theory, ‘trickle-down economics.’ That has been tried and failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

And suppose I talked to my pals Bob Tyrrell and Wlady Pleszczynski, and asked them to run my ad on the Spectator’s website. As election regulations stand, they could do that without any restriction, so long as I didn’t pay them. But if I paid them, it would constitute some sort of in-kind political donation that would tangle them up in a load of paperwork.

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Covert Operations at a Hard Drive Near You

By 10.15.14

There’s a man who leads a life of danger. To everyone he meets he stays a stranger.” So says Johnny Rivers in the 1960s hit song, “Secret Agent Man.” Alas, at that time there was a sense of mystery about covert operations — jet setting into exotic places, trusting no one in a shadowy profession, and risking one’s life in situ.

But now, courtesy of Facebook, anyone can become a secret agent — what a difference digital technology makes. The social media enterprise has recently announced that its members may now use aliases. Previously, Facebook has required its members to use their real names; however, at issue are certain San Francisco based performers, drag artists in particular, who seek anonymity for protection and therefore wish to use online aliases, viewing stage names as part of their persona. While this poses a legal issue about safety and the right to privacy in certain circumstances, it also has vast implications for the intelligence profession.