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Millennials and the Elderly

By 6.26.15

Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer
(Encounter Books, 152 pages, $17.99)

Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer are, respectively, a senior fellow and policy analyst with the Manhattan Institute. They make a generally strong, articulate, pithy, and well-researched case in Disinherited that liberal policy makers from Washington to City Hall have been hamstringing the aspirations and bank accounts of America’s younger generations.

The general perception that millennials are the first American generation with dimmer prospects than their parents is bolstered by the authors, who point to the shock of an $18 trillion national debt, bloated by the President’s Affordable Care Act, with the bill for this record spending being handed to our young to pay.

The Right Prescription

Supreme Court Caves on Obamacare Again

By 6.25.15

The Supreme Court had an opportunity, with its ruling in King v. Burwell, to determine whether the United States is a nation of laws or of men. Today, in a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that we have devolved into the latter.

Although the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) clearly states that the government may issue subsidies only through insurance exchanges established by the states, Obama administration bureaucrats unilaterally rewrote that part of the law so that the IRS could dispense such premium assistance through “marketplaces” created by the federal government. The plaintiffs in King sued the government on the grounds that the Executive Branch has no power to thus alter an act of Congress.

Incredibly, SCOTUS has sided with the White House.

Ben Stein's Diary

Amazon Goes Orwellian

By 6.25.15

In the uber great masterpiece foretelling our time, the protagonist, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth. His job is to destroy all references to predictions by Big Brother that did not turn out right, statistics that are inconvenient, and mentions of persons that Big Brother has — through the Ministry of Love — murdered. He simply drops the reference in the one newspaper copy that exists into the Memory Hole and it’s burnt up instantly.

It’s part of the plan of IngSoc, English Socialism, to destroy anything inconvenient in the past that might even slightly upset its totalitarian rule. Their mottos: Who controls the past, controls the present. Who controls the present controls the future.

State Watch

Will California Suicide Bill Die a Natural Death?

By 6.25.15

When SB 128, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, passed the California Senate, supporters hailed the measure’s success as a sign of its inevitability. And what Democrat in this heavily left-leaning Legislature wants to be on — say it slowly — The Wrong Side of History?

It turns out reports of the measure’s slam-dunkedness were greatly exaggerated. Opponents of SB 128 expected the bill to sail through the Senate but then get mired in the Assembly. Sure enough, this week state Sens. Lois Wolk and Bill Monning, co-sponsors of the bill, had to pull a scheduled vote in the Assembly Health Committee and delay it until July 7 because, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Melody Gutierrez reported, six committee Democrats are not on board. Five are members of the Latino caucus. Ergo the new spin on the bill, advanced by Wolk, is that the Roman Catholic Church, in all its might, is leaning on its flock to kill the bill.

Knowing What We Know Now

Will Democrats Apologize for Slavery and Segregation?

By 6.25.15

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz:

I note with interest this statement from you with regard to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol. You said:

For decades community leaders in South Carolina — and across the country — have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue.

But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country — not the end of one.

Good enough. It’s good to know you wish to begin this conversation and I am happy to oblige. Let me begin with this question:

Will the Democratic Party finally apologize for supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan?

Let me recall these lines from some of your party platforms.

From your 1840 platform: 

The Nation's Pulse

Revolutions in Political Correctness: Ex Uno, Pluralis

By 6.25.15

There have been so many changes in what the Left deems politically correct, it’s difficult to keep up. So here are a couple that you need to know lest you betray your lack of coolness.

The University of California wants to ban the phrase “melting pot,” as in “America is a melting pot.” This is a huge turn-around. Until recently the Left has decried anything that smacked of racial or gender differentiation. It bristled at the notion that certain medical treatments might work differently on folks of different races, even to the point of objecting to a treatment (BiDil) that was shown to work particularly well on black men suffering from heart disease.

But that was then. Now we celebrate differences, not similarities. After all, how else can you have identity politics? And where would the Democrat party be without identity politics?

Political Hay

Cultural Tyrants

By 6.25.15

The aftermath of the Charleston church massacre has been an interesting thing.

Following the nine killed by 21-year-old ninth grade dropout and troglodyte Dylann Roof at the Mother Emanuel AME Church last week, the people of that venerable South Carolina city have given the nation one of our more inspiring spectacles — thousands gathering in prayer and demonstrating for unity and civility. Had the reaction of Charleston been the major story, the massacre — disgusting and tragic as it was — would have told us something good about the basic character of the American people.

Your author will go so far as to say Charleston’s reaction has told us something true, as well — about most of us, at least.

Culture Vultures

One Nation, For Better or Worse

By 6.25.15

For days on end, we’ve been pelted with the sudden and inconsistent outrage over the Confederate battle flag, which, apparently, has moved thousands to commit heinous acts in the name of a long-since disbanded secessionary force that may or may not have been defending an agrarian way of life against an industrialized interloper that threatened to force them to abandon their hoopskirts and post-supper porch tobacco. The flag has, of course, existed in some form or another since the mid-1800s, and until two weeks ago, had lived a relatively unmolested life, flying over Southern statehouses and in the windows of four-door diesel trucks with fake testicles hanging from their rear license plates.

Ben Stein's Diary

I Love South Carolina

By 6.24.15

A few humble thoughts on race, violence, and South Carolina.

The crimes of Dylann Roof were spectacularly horrible. To murder in cold blood nine men and women who were praising the Lord is unfathomably evil. There is simply no excuse for it. The moral power and restraint of the Charleston black community is historically magnificent. Nothing less than that. The love and forgiveness of the victims’ families is breathtaking, one of the great moments in human history.

And while I don’t think that the rebel battle flag flying over the statehouse in Columbia had anything to do with Dylann Roof’s horrible crimes, the flag has to go on government property. For black citizens, taxpayers, voters, soldiers, war widows to have the flag of an army that fought to maintain their ancestors in chains, as less than human, is painful and cruel. That flag has a place in museums and homes and restaurants but not on the statehouse lawn.

Another Perspective

Richard Thompson (Mostly) Lets the Music Do the Talking

By 6.24.15

You may not know his name but for nearly half a century Richard Thompson has been performing and recording music. Although the British born guitar player has never attained stardom, his songs have been covered by the likes of R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, and the Pointer Sisters. Consequently, Thompson has steadily built himself an audience of fans on both sides of the Atlantic. This fan base came out in full force over the weekend in Boston for a performance at the Wilbur Theatre in support of his new album Still (produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco), which was released yesterday.