Special Report

Special Report

Senate Flushes Fast Track

By 5.13.15

As if either President Obama or Hillary Clinton needed a reminder that the most powerful person in the Democratic Party is now Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth “I’m a Cherokee” Warren, on Tuesday Senate Democrats followed the lead of the scourge of capitalism by filibustering “fast-track” trade promotion authority (“TPA”) legislation designed to allow the Obama administration to negotiate and more easily enact international trade agreements, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) which would liberalize trade between the United States and eleven Asia-Pacific region nations.

Both the policy and the politics are complex.

Special Report

Finding the First Amendment

By 5.11.15

A draw-Muhammad cartoon contest is staged in Garland Texas. Two ISIS terrorists show up with automatic weapons intending to massacre the assemblage. A single guard guns them down with a pistol, narrowly averting mass carnage.

The post-attack response, even including conservative stalwarts, is to condemn not just the would-be assassins, but the speakers and the cartoons presented at the conference. Yes, critics say, of course the speakers have First Amendment free speech constitutional rights, but they offended Muslims around the globe. They asserted that such “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment.

Repair, then, to the text of the First Amendment—as the lawyers say, in pertinent part: “Congress shall make no law… abridging freedom of speech, or of the press.…” About a century ago the Supreme Court began selectively “incorporating” specific clauses of the Bill of Rights to apply also to the States, including all the First Amendment.

Special Report

Constitutional Rights for Transgender Prisoners: Kulturkampf or Coup D’état?

By 5.6.15

Cultural attitudes can change rapidly in this digital age, at least on some issues, among some demographic segments. For example, Millennials (born after 1980) tethered to their smart phones mimic the latest trends in music, fashion, and lifestyle displayed by their peers on blogs or social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube), or streamed by opinion outlets such as Reddit, Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed. (Few young people read traditional newspapers or subscription periodicals.) Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has largely replaced cable or network news for coverage of current events, to the extent that twenty-somethings pay attention at all. Thus, it is not surprising that Millennials’ opinions on many subjects—influenced by a generally secular and nihilistic worldview—diverge significantly from those of their parents. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 68 percent of Millennials (age 18-34) supported same-sex marriage, compared to 48 percent for the Baby Boomer generation (born from 1946-1964).

Special Report

Watch Us Peacefully Riot!

By 5.5.15

Imagine a Tea Party rally that ended in violence, with wrenches being thrown at police officers and widespread vandalism. Actually, you don't have to imagine. The liberal media and the social left do that for you. Recall their wild concern over Sarah Palin's use of political “cross-hairs” despite the fact that such imagery has been commonplace in politics forever and no more inspires violence than any number of references to “targeted districts” by countless political consultants. Or reminisce about ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross finding out that someone who shared the name of the suspect in the Aurora Theater shooting was linked to the Tea Party and could therefore be the killer. Or think back to when a deranged man flew a plane into an IRS building in Texas and was initially thought to be proof of the dangerous mentality infecting the conservative movement until his suicide note was discovered and featured a line from the Communist Manifesto.

Special Report

Searching for Space to Destroy

By 5.1.15

A prisoner riding in the same police van as Freddie Gray says the Baltimore drug dealer spent his time “banging against the walls,” reports the Washington Post. That’s an apt metaphor for Baltimore’s response to Gray’s death.

People who sack the communities they inhabit strangely find it inconceivable that a person would destroy the body he inhabits. They blame the police—for Gray’s demise and their city’s.

The inmate says Gray spent his time in the van “intentionally trying to injure himself.” The tactic certainly rings familiar to the people who burned and pillaged their environs—or anyone who has ever watched (or starred in) Cops. And if not for the singing jailbird’s plea for anonymity, one could be forgiven for deducing that the admission represents another instance of a man “intentionally trying to injure himself,” too.

Special Report

Heartland Tells Ban Ki-Moon: ‘Climate Change Is Not as Bad as You Think’

By 4.30.15

VATICAN CITY, April 29

Michelangelo would not have made it in the fashion industry. In the pouring rain on an unseasonally cold day in Rome, the Gilbert-and-Sullivan gaiters and spats of the Swiss Guards, designed by Michelangelo in uncharacteristically garish taste, luridly striped in two-inch bars of blue and yellow, were liberally spattered with mud from the limousines of visiting dignitaries.

James Delingpole of Breitbart London, Marc Morano of Climate Depot and Monckton of Brenchley and Climate Change Weekly presented their credentials at the South Gate of the Vatican.

We had gotten ourselves accredited as journalists to cover the latest climate change conference jointly organized by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

That had been a comic operetta in itself. I had submitted impeccable credentials some days previously but had had no reply. We visited the Press Office of the Holy See (open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. sometimes) and asked why there had been no acknowledgement.

“Ah, well, we only answer applications that request a reply.”

Special Report

Hang Down Your Head, Debbie Dooley

By 4.29.15

If you’ve ever got to teach a kid the meaning of non sequitur, remember this assertion by one Debbie Dooley, Tea Party eccentric and advocate for solar energy:

Support solar energy, because Americans for Prosperity (AFP) says you shouldn’t, and “they refuse to take a position on the fiscal irresponsibility of illegal immigration and amnesty because their corporate benefactors support open borders and amnesty.”

The best I can figure is that Dooley’s actually Andy Kaufman, returned to prank the Tea Party: “Vote solar. Because Mexicans.”

There’s a ballot initiative campaign underway in Florida to get the state to endorse and promote solar energy all the usual ways, and it’s well-financed by interest groups with national ambitions, including friends of billionaire Tom Steyer, so different versions of the fight are popping up from Arizona to Indiana.

Special Report

David Axelrod’s (Ongoing) Commie Connections

By 4.28.15

Several times I’ve written for The American Spectator on the person of David Axelrod, the figure most responsible for giving America two terms of Barack Obama. My first piece was a cover feature for the March 2012 print edition, titled, “David Axelrod, Lefty Lumberjack.” This lengthy profile was followed by an August 2012 piece titled, “All in the (Political) Family.” Then followed still more writings on Axelrod and friends, particularly the new material I reported in my book on Obama’s communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.

These writings got a lot of attention. I discussed the topic a number of times in interviews. People were shocked, and they wanted more. What other skeletons lay in David Axelrod’s political-ideological closet?

Special Report

Francis Is Out of His Element

By 4.27.15

Eight years ago, I was deeply honored to be invited to participate in the first papal conference on climate change, the Pontifical Council on Climate Change and Development. To my great and lasting regret, I was unable to participate.

Now a new Pope is leading a new climate conference, and I’d like to humbly offer my thoughts about some factors he should consider as he leads the discussion.

Science is critical to understanding why and how our climate changes — an issue, contrary to popular belief, that’s still a matter of open debate. However, science provides no insight into how individuals or governments ought to respond to any particular threats or benefits possibly arising from climate change. These are normative matters.

As a result, the ideas of religious leaders and moral philosophers are valuable in considering how we should respond to what science tells us about climate change, or at least what normative matters we ought to consider.

Special Report

I’m Not Lovin’ It

By 4.24.15

McDonald’s lost 2.3 percent in sales last quarter. I lost 2.3 percent of my lower intestine after my last Quarter Pounder.

Even that fat purple moron Grimace could deduce cause and effect.

If you want to feel sick after a meal, why not Mad Dog 20/20? It’s healthier, tastes better, and at least provides a high before the hangover.

McDonald’s seeks to counter the downward spiral. The chain announced the worldwide closure of 350 stores atop 350 more already shuttered this year. But that still leaves a problem of about 32,000 restaurants open for business.

The Golden Arches micro-test in San Diego an all-day breakfast menu, which, given the penchant of customers to wear pajamas throughout sunlight hours, strikes as a move of entrepreneurial genius. If only Ray Kroc’s ghost could now convince the federal government to permit his franchises to accept WIC, SNAP, and other obnoxious acronyms meaning “freeloader,” then McDonald’s would eclipse Exxon, Walmart, and Apple in profits. The eatery still does big business where there’s little business.

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