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The Hillary Watch

Yes, Carly Fiorina Was Fired

By 4.24.15

We still have a week to go, but it’s already clear that the Most Valuable Player of the Month will be Carly Fiorina. She wins the award because she has done what nobody else has thought to do or, more likely, had the nerve to do. She has said in a loud, clear voice that the Empress has no clothes.

Carly notes that, while the Empress Hillary went to fancy schools, ran expensive campaigns, held high political office, signed her name to multiple autobiographies, generated Kardashian levels of personal publicity and became Romney-rich while serving some never-quite-identified public interest, she hasn’t actually accomplished anything. Carly has uttered an inconvenient truth, you might say.

For performing this public service, Carly got a taste of how the Clinton oppo-team responds to even unexceptionable criticism. It returns fire disproportionately. Just this morning, I found five hit pieces on the Internet, all of them noting with the predictability of a drill team that Carly Fiorina was fired from her last corporate job. The clear implication: Carly Fiorina’s reputation as a successful businesswoman is a myth.

Perhaps this is a teachable moment.

Political Hay

Doctor Carson Goes to Detroit

By 4.24.15

On May 4, when Dr. Ben Carson walks to the stage of the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, he will likely be thinking about the principles that made this country great, about the financial and moral dangers our country is in, and about the rise of our adversaries around the globe including ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and growing aggression from Russia and China.

He will know that thousands of people look to him to solve these issues and to lead an American renewal. He will know that efforts to fund his campaign outdid “Ready for Hillary” efforts at one point and give promise to the kind of money and network that might just fund a winning presidential primary campaign. He is a man of serious faith and he will have prayed for guidance.

Dr. Carson will walk to the podium, look out at the cheering crowd and the flashing cameras and he will tell them how he intends to fight for the future of this country.

He should say something like this:

The Hillary Watch

Hillary’s Greatest Hits, Part I

By 4.24.15

Apparently some of the youngsters know very little about the Hillary for whom so many Democrat voters profess readiness. Seasoned journalists here at the mag, from the editor-in-chief on down, are taken aback daily to hear younger hands wonder whence her notoriety as a creep and a crook.

Thankfully the New York Times and others are coming forward with extensive exposés on the more recent monkeyshines of Hillary and ’em. The young ’uns are seeing us old fuddy-duddies confirmed in our misgivings — no mistaking that — but they wonder how we knew what to expect.

In the spirit of educating the next generation, then, here is a brief review of Hillary’s overlong career as a stye in the public eye, with an emphasis on her Greatest Hits.

She first came to the attention of the nation at her Wellesley commencement in 1969. Senator Brooke had spoken earlier of his empathy with the desire of the students to reform the system. Hillary began her remarks with a putdown of the Senator, saying empathy “doesn’t do us anything.” Hackneyed syntax notwithstanding, her chutzpah won accolades in an age that revered irreverence.

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.

Among the Intellectualoids

They Heart Big Brother

By 4.24.15

Why are “liberals” or “progressives” great fans of big government? (I put the words in scare quotes because it seems to me that these people are, objectively speaking, illiberal and regressive.) There are, I suggest, four reasons.

Liberals feel the need to repair the damage their moral values have done in the last half-century or so. When I speak of damage, I am thinking above all of the breakdown of the married two-parent family, a breakdown — caused largely by the liberal-promoted sexual revolution — that has inflicted immeasurable damage on fatherless boys and girls.

This breakdown is greatest among our poorer social classes — and has contributed of course to their poverty. And it is greatest of all among poor African-Americans: in black ghettos the married two-parent family has virtually disappeared. But to reverse this breakdown, to begin a return to the married two-parent family, liberals would have to proclaim that there is something seriously wrong with the ethic of sexual freedom that they have been promoting since the middle of the last century.

The Nation's Pulse

Those Annoying, Stunningly Stupid Warning Labels

By 4.24.15

It’s everywhere. The legalese. The lawyers’ gobbledygook. The hocus‑pocus and mumbo‑jumbo from a generation dominated by the legal profession. It’s the fallout from our litigious society.

The warning labels and messages are everywhere: on ladders, cigarettes, and lawnmowers, on prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages. Most of these warnings are expected. We hardly recognize them any more. We’ve become jaded and mesmerized by them.

Manufacturers go to laughable lengths to protect their customers from harm, bombarding them with ridiculous warning labels or stunningly obvious explanations of how their products work. Why else would a carton of eggs actually say that the product may contain eggs?

Of course the plaintiff’s bar has had plenty to do with this silly — and costly — trend. Sham product-liability cases can and do rack up Lotto size jury verdicts. According to Jury Verdict Research, which tracks results of personal-injury claims, in 2011 the median jury award in product liability cases was almost $2 million. Today, most likely that median damage award is much higher.

A Further Perspective

It Won’t Be Hillary

By 4.24.15

Honestly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign won’t go any further than — if it even gets as far as — her ill-fated 2008 attempt at returning to the White House. After all, Clinton isn’t a more attractive candidate now than she was then, and after two terms of a failed Democrat president one would think it would require a candidate with real political skill to keep a Democrat installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Clinton, unlike her glib husband, has no such talent. Last week’s amateurish and clumsy “rollout” to her presidential bid showed she has no more aptitude for retail politics than she has for messaging. Want proof? This woman, who touched off guffaws nationwide by claiming she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House (with silverware in tow) in 2001, decided to offer herself as a champion of the little people as the key theme of her campaign.

At Large

Saudi Arabia Rents U.S. Military, Courtesy Barack Obama

By 4.24.15

After killing hundreds of Yemenis, including many civilians, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) announced that it was halting its bombing campaign. Now Operation “Restoring Hope” is to begin. A cynic might wonder if that is the hope of the Saudi king for more subjects to rule and plunder. No doubt the KSA will kill more Yemenis for no cause before the war truly ends.

Apparently incapable of resisting the temptation to meddle in the Middle East, the Obama administration is part of Saudi Arabia’s ten-member “coalition” against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Said Secretary of State John Kerry: “we’re not going to step away from our alliances and our friendships.” The administration is providing intelligence, logistical aid, arms shipments, and even a naval flotilla including an American aircraft carrier to monitor Iranian ships. Apparently Washington wants to block any Iranian military aid for Houthi rebels while underwriting Saudi aggression.

Political Hay

New Rules, New Game

By 4.23.15

(Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Jackie Gingrich Cushman.)

It’s official, the 2016 presidential race is underway. At first glance, the matchup might look similar to the one we saw in each of the last few cycles: the inevitable Democratic nominee against dozens of Republican candidates. But it’s not.

The Republican National Committee announced in January new rules regarding sanctioned debates. This, combined with a fuller field of “top-tier” Republican candidates, will result in a much different Republican primary process than we saw four years ago.

The events started on May 5, 2011, in Greenville, South Carolina, and ended on March 3, 2012, in Wilmington, Ohio. Between those two dates, there were 27 forums and debates, 20 of which were sanctioned by the RNC.

At Large

The Pope and the Punches

By 4.23.15

I have only just discovered Pope Francis’s remarks (thank you Mark Steyn) in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre: “Insult my mum and I will punch you.” Although this is fairly old news, it seems to me to be bizarre enough, coming from such a source at such a time, to warrant some further observations.

When I was at boarding school someone did insult my mother, and I did punch him, quite surprising myself. The sound of him sobbing over his broken teeth, and the cheers of the other boys, who had a sense of justice on that occasion at least, was music to my ears.

Of course it was dreadfully un-Christian and I suppose, many years later, that I am in a state of what the Catholics call imperfect contrition over it (sorry I’m not sorry). But then, I’m not the Pope.

However, there is a much more serious dimension to this. Here we are not talking about schoolboys in a bad and neglectful school where immature violence was common, but grown-up murderers who have declared war on Western civilization in the name of a blind, anti-rational, and of course anti-Christian fanaticism.