The Current Crisis

The Current Crisis

A Pother at Old Georgetown

By 2.24.16

I am certainly glad that the Washington Post reported on a controversy at Georgetown University last week, which was created by the sad death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Thanks to that informative report I am canceling my million-dollar bequest to old Georgetown and channeling it elsewhere, probably to Donald Trump’s super PAC, if I can find his super PAC.

The controversy arose because of a dean’s perfectly civilized published statement of grief. A press release from the Georgetown Law School announced, “Georgetown Law mourns the loss of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” a Georgetown undergraduate and summa cum laude graduate. The dean of the law school, William M. Treanor, then praised Scalia as “a giant in the history of the law, a brilliant jurist whose opinions and scholarship profoundly transformed the law.” As I say, the dean was perfectly civilized in lauding the passing of this great teacher and jurist, to say nothing of his achievements as a father of nine children.

The Current Crisis

Hillary the Inevitable

By 2.17.16

Recall if you will those unforgettable royal figures from yesteryear with their peculiar cognomens. Some of my favorites are Ethelred the Unready, a famously tardy English king from the Middle Ages. Or how about Charles the Bald, the Holy Roman Emperor whose glabrous head was widely remarked in his time and still is to this very day? And who can forget Pepin the Short? Even standing on his tiptoes he was the diminutive King of the Franks.

Now early in the 21st century we have another epic curiosity, Hillary the Inevitable. She was first dubbed “the Inevitable” in 2008 before she lost the Democratic nomination to a junior United States senator from Illinois. She returned in 2015 and was again dubbed “the Inevitable” at least until February 1st’s Iowa caucuses and then her New Hampshire disaster. Now she is not being viewed as all that Inevitable. Oh sure she is still known as Hillary the Inevitable by James Carville and by Paul (the Skull) Begala, and forget not the guy down at the end of the bar at closing time. He too is full of hope. Yet, as for others, they have their doubts.

The Current Crisis

The Obama Economy and the Election

By 2.10.16

Well, well, the stock market has, of a sudden, caught up with the Obama economy. The spectacle is not pretty. In January the market dropped like a stone. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 8.1 percent. Friday the Nasdaq shed 3.25 percent points upon hearing the news that payroll additions grew by only 151,000 jobs. That was well behind the monthly average of last year, another year of Obama recovery. That is to say, it was another year of meager growth. In the last quarter of 2015 the economy grew at less than 1 percent. If this is a recovery, it is coming very close to looking like a prolonged recession.

The Current Crisis

The Curse of the Clintons

By 2.3.16

In the many decades I have had the pleasure of covering the Clintons I have developed several themes about them that have over the years been validated by fact. One theme is that there is a Clinton Curse. It afflicts many who come into contact with the fabulous couple. In the early days the Curse brought down the McDougals, Webb Hubbell, Vince Foster, and former Governor Jim Guy Tucker, all of them by now figures known only to history. More recently it was Jeffrey Epstein, the child molester and Bill’s pal and fellow epicurean. Now quite possibly Josh Earnest, press secretary to President Barack Obama, will be added to the list along with Hillary’s aides Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Bryan Pagliano, and Jake Sullivan. Possibly even David Brock will suffer the Clinton Curse. The Clintons are a couple to be avoided. Even the Democratic Party might not be spared come Election Day 2016.

The Current Crisis

A Manifesto of My Own

By 1.27.16

In reading Paul Johnson’s masterful Art: A New History I came across a startling number of art masters who did bodies sublimely, hands and even landscapes brilliantly, but who could not plausibly paint a human face. Some of the artists recognized this and had their subjects look over their shoulder or off to the horizon, or were painted behind a floppy hat. Nonetheless the artists are esteemed as great, though limited.

That thought ran through my mind when I first encountered National Review’s manifesto on Donald Trump. Some of these accomplished writers have a knack for political ideology, for political culture, for journalism. But few have any talent for politics. Several have supported John McCain’s and Mitt Romney’s candidacies. Several have denounced Newt Gingrich’s presidential ambitions along with me. But not many have served as political advisors, which might be a mark in their favor. Still, that does not give them a credential in politics.

The Current Crisis

Hillary’s Past Meets the Present

By 1.20.16

Did any of the political cognoscenti consult Real Clear Politics last Thursday? Those who did found evidence that Donald Trump’s recent charges that Hillary Clinton was for years her husband’s “enabler,” while he was committing “very seedy” behavior, are irrefutable. Moreover, the evidence is contained in a book that has been right under our noses for years. The book was written by David Brock—now a Hillary champion—and Brock is still quite proud of the book. He actually has boasted that “reviewers had found [the book] to be fair, well-balanced, and accurate” — such reviewers as the New York Times and the Washington Post. Why no one has consulted it is mysterious. Is the press really that lazy?

The Current Crisis

Hillary’s Problems Grow

By 1.13.16

This week, three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton spent valuable time during an appearance on Face the Nation swatting down stories that surfaced Friday. Early on Friday morning when most Americans are asleep, save second story men, the State Department released thousands of Hillary’s e-mails. In one she seemed to be asking her aide, Jake Sullivan, to send her classified information across a “non-secure” line. That is to say, across her personal server. She was impatient to read the e-mail’s contents and could not wait for it to be sent on a secure line. That strikes a lot of those who follow such matters as a clear breach of the law regarding the handling of classified information, or perhaps I should say another clear breach of the law regarding the use of classified information. On Face the Nation Hillary termed the growing imbroglio a “non-issue.”

The Current Crisis

Rahm, I Tried to Warn You

By 1.6.16

Chicago has always struck me as one of the most affluent cities in the world. Growing up in Chicagoland I saw little poverty in the city at the foot of glistening Lake Michigan. I am sure poverty was there, but Chicago in the 1960s seemed rich and abundant with opportunity. Alas, that was long ago. Chicago is still affluent at least on its north side and in the environs around Michigan Avenue, the city’s Magnificent Mile. Yet, statistics tell us something different when we consider Chicago as a whole. Its poor neighborhoods are desperate.

Read the headlines from the city that two generations of Daleys governed effectively. Young males, usually blacks, are dying on the streets often from run-ins with the police. For a certitude, they are acting recklessly, carrying weapons, often knives and guns, but the cops are acting aggressively. Just the other day a young man, agitated and carrying a baseball bat, was shot to death by a cop. Obviously Chicago cops are dangerous. Moreover, city government seems to be covering up for them.

The Current Crisis

Hillary’s Server, Monica’s Blue Dress, and History

By 12.30.15

To those of us who have followed the ongoing Clinton Saga, which now reaches back almost twenty-five years, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s computer server promises to become as historic as Monica Lewinsky’s stained dress. That is to say, that her server may indeed become as significant to her presidential prospects as Monica’s dress was to Bill’s prospects for impeachment.

It is now apparent to fact finders across the nation that some of Hillary’s e-mails—thousands of which have been saved on her personal server—show that she lied to the American people as surely as Monica’s dress proved that Bill lied to the American people and to the grand jury when he denied having sex “with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Would it not be fitting that at the end of the Clinton Saga a dusty old server and a tired old dress go on display in the penultimate room of “The Clinton Museum and Souvenir Shop” down in jerkwater? Beyond that room comes the basement, featuring the words “They Lied to Us.”

The Current Crisis

Women Warriors and the Bottle

By 12.23.15

It is apparently a little known fact in the Obama Administration that girls are weaker than boys and that grown women are weaker than grown men. Moreover, women training for combat positions suffer physical injuries at twice the rate of men, and they suffer significantly higher rates of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety after exposure to combat. Of course, you probably knew this by simple observation or by reading the sports page and noting that women’s athletic records are significantly lower than men’s records. But then you are not in the Obama Administration.