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Maddon Toddles to Chicago — Let the Expectations Begin

By 11.4.14

In just his third season as manager, Joe Maddon took the Tampa Bay Rays, previously the sad-sacks and punch lines of Major League Baseball, to the World Series. Maddon’s new employer, the Chicago Cubs, will expect and accept no less. If fact. they’ll want a little more. Maddon’s Rays lost the 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

Baseball’s newest $5 million a year manager has not been put on a schedule to win yet. But you may be sure that if it does not include lots of wins, Maddon’s Chicago honeymoon will be a short one. The Rays, then called the Devil Rays, wanted a winner when they hired Maddon before the 2006 season. But the team had only been in existence for eight years, and expectations for the then unknown guy out of Southern California on his managerial starter job were, to say the least, modest. But the Cubs are a different kettle of cleats.

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Main Street U.S.A.

Why We Don’t Like Politicians

By 11.4.14

“The polls” have it that Americans in 2014 expect virtually nothing from the 2014 style in Washington politicians.

Amid the horrors we trip over every morning when evacuating our beds, this revelation may count as very, very, very good news.

We don’t want to expect much from our politicians, of whatever sex, party, creed, and persuasion. A major roadblock to achievement of the earnest hopes of the past half dozen years — the Obama years — is… well, those same earnest hopes. My brothers, my sisters, it wasn’t ever going to happen that a smooth-tongued office seeker was going to set America right — or whatever it was we supposed he would do, once duly inducted as orator-in-chief.

Aristotle may have thought politics a worthy tool for inculcating virtue, etc., but that was another place, another time, a world of more limited aspirations than the generalized hope for life without pain, inconvenience, and undue suffering, marked by ethnic reconciliation, enduring peace, and steady increases in the minimum wage.

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Special Report

Pre- and Post-Election Lessons

By 11.4.14

Two large cross-currents in American political opinion will be the driving forces in today’s elections: A general dissatisfaction with government and politicians and a specific dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama.

These trends reinforce each other where a Republican candidate is challenging a Democratic incumbent but work against each other where the incumbent is a Republican. Overall, the dissatisfaction with Obama will be a stronger force in national elections, but on the state level incumbents of both parties will go into Tuesday night with trepidation.

Of course, candidates matter and just being not-a-Democrat will not always be enough for the GOP to knock off Democratic senators and congressmen for whom there remains some modest offsetting benefit of incumbency.

The good news for Republicans is that they do seem capable of learning: with a few exceptions such as the very weak Terry Lynn Land in Michigan, the party nominated electable candidates while mostly avoiding disasters like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who harmed the entire Republican message and brand.

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Politics

The New Yorker’s Anti-Reagan Reflex

By 11.4.14

Ronald Reagan has displeased the New Yorker. Twenty-five years gone from the presidency and ten years gone from this life, it seems the nation’s fortieth president still has a capacity to stir angst among the ruling class.

In a piece titled “The Reagan Reflex,” former Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol is but the latest to target Reagan’s legacy and pronounce that — don’t you know — it’s time to move on. The article summons all at once exactly what so infuriated liberals of the day about Ronald Reagan and exasperated GOP establishment at the same time. Indeed, one can almost hear the Reagan response: There they go again.

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Politics

Elbert Guillory’s Message to the Black Community

By 11.4.14

Elbert Guillory, a black Republican state legislator from Louisiana, has taken his show on the road.

Guillory came to fame through a recent video attacking incumbent U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat locked in a tight re-election race. Walking in a sharp three-piece suit through an impoverished area near where he grew up, Guillory said that Landrieu has failed to actually help the black community that has consistently supported her for the eighteen years she has held office. His commentary is withering: “You’re not Mary’s cause—and you’re certainly not her charity. You are just a vote. Nothing less and nothing more. For her, you are just a means to an end so that she remains in power.”

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Politics

Voter Fraud and Voter I.D.

By 11.4.14

One of the biggest voter frauds may be the idea promoted by Attorney General Eric Holder and others that there is no voter fraud, that laws requiring voters to have a photo identification are just attempts to suppress black voting.

Reporter John Fund has written three books on voter fraud and a recent survey by Old Dominion University indicates that there are more than a million registered voters who are not citizens, and who therefore are not legally entitled to vote.

The most devastating account of voter fraud may be in the book Injustice by J. Christian Adams. He was a Justice Department attorney, who detailed with inside knowledge the voter frauds known to the Justice Department, and ignored by Attorney General Holder and Company.

One of these frauds involved sending out absentee ballots to people who had never asked for them. Then a political operator would show up — uninvited — the day the ballots arrived and “help” the voter to fill them out. Sometimes the intruders simply took the ballots, filled them out and forged the signatures of the voters.

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Politics

Too Chicken to Count the Unhatched

By 11.3.14

Much to the consternation of my peers, Republican cheerleaders all, I am not predicting the Senate slips from Harry Reid’s slimy grasp this week. Despite polling which suggests otherwise, I see this as a 50-50 proposition with a slight presumption in favor of Democrat retention. But hey, go ahead, vote your head off Tuesday and prove me wrong.

In truth it always takes a miracle for Republicans to win an election; any election on any level. Pretty much every child in this country, whether in public or private school, in secular or religious school, is inculcated by teachers with the Democrat version of reality. Democrats are wonderful kindhearted broadminded scientific individuals who look out for the little guy — and are often the little guys themselves — on the long march into the Age of Enlightenment. Republicans are mean predatory phobic obscurantist revanchist pietists for whom the Dark Ages cannot get back here soon enough. After a full dose of this hooey through elementary, junior high, high school, university and graduate school, it is a wonder anyone ever casts a single vote for a Republican.

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The Charlie Watch

Just Let It Be Over

By 11.3.14

The nation’s political junkies are focused mainly on U.S. Senate races, where Republicans stand a fair chance of re-taking a majority there. Predicting if Harry Reid will lose his job as Senate boss is a favorite indoor sport just now, made difficult by all the really close races.

But none of these Senate races is any tighter than the Florida governor’s race, which has been within the margin of error in almost all polls since late July. It’s the closest Florida governor’s race in a generation. The Real Clear Politics Average of Polls through October 31 shows rookie Democrat Charlie Crist at 43 percent and Republican incumbent Rick Scott at 41.8 percent. Close is nothing new for Florida. Most remember the 2000 presidential race, which threatened to be permanent, so narrow were the totals. In 2012, Barack Obama won Florida by 0.9 percent. Scott himself won the governorship in 2010 by 1.2 percent.

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The Right Prescription

These Senators Deserve To Be Fired

By 11.3.14

What would happen if you ignored multiple requests from your employer to stop wasting time on your pet project and instead concentrate on a higher priority task? You would be fired, of course. There are six U.S. Senators up for reelection tomorrow who richly deserve to lose their jobs for that very offense. Throughout 2009 and early 2010 they refused to listen when their employers — the voters — demanded that they stop meddling in health care and focus on the economy. With the voices of protest reverberating in their ears, these cynical pols voted to foist Obamacare on an unwilling electorate.

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Loose Canons

Our C.S. President

By 11.3.14

To paraphrase Jeremiah Wright, the president’s long-time spiritual leader, the chickens**t is coming home to roost. The problem is that Obama and his White House Brat Pack will make sure it continues to do so for another two years.

The President of Chickens**t’s team expresses his policies and acts upon them in consistent disregard for America’s national security interests and those of our allies. How different was former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor’s statement last May that he couldn’t imagine how anyone could still be concerned with the Benghazi attacks — he exclaimed to Fox News’ Bret Baier, “Dude, that was like two years ago” — from a senior Obama administration official last week calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a chickens**t” and a “coward”?

There is no difference whatever except in context. The statements are expressions of a dominant mindset in the White House. It’s a devolution from the “best and the brightest” of the Kennedy era to the “most narcissistic and arrogant” of Obama’s presidency.

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