Latest News

A Further Perspective

Does Donald Trump Have a Foreign Policy?

By 9.7.15

What was a delegation of Indonesian dignitaries doing at Donald Trump’s press briefing last Thursday, September 3? The delegation included House Speaker Setya Novanto, Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon, and three other deputy speakers.

Trump said they were there to join him in doing “great things for the United States.”

But that’s Trump. For him, America comes first. It’s not enough to ask what America can do for other countries. We must ask also what they can do for us. Life is a series of deals. Or, as every first year law student learns, a series of contracts.

Indonesian news source Okezone said the purpose was to discuss “strategic alliances between Indonesia and America going forward.” Does that sound like a foreign policy discussion?

Sanctuary City Watch

Kate’s Parents Strike Back

By 9.6.15

“We’re here not only for Kate, to keep her memory alive, but to have something done,” a shellshocked James Steinle pronounced at a Tuesday news conference on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. On July 1, Steinle, his daughter, Kate, and a friend were taking an evening stroll on Pier 14. Kate Steinle, 32, took a selfie. Moments later, a bullet pierced her aorta. She died in a hospital. The San Francisco district attorney charged an immigrant who was here illegally and who had seven felony convictions and five prior deportations with first-degree murder. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was free because the San Francisco sheriff had refused to honor a federal deportation request, has pleaded not guilty. This is a crime that never should have happened.

So flanked by his wife, Liz Sullivan, their son, Brad, and a cluster of lawyers, Steinle announced legal action against San Francisco and federal agencies in an effort to squeeze something positive out of what is every parent’s nightmare. Government officials screwed up, and no one seems eager to correct the mistakes. Said Steinle, “The silence has been deafening.”

Another Perspective

My Heart Goes Out to Kim Davis

By 9.4.15

Like two doomed ships that pass in storm
We had crossed each other’s way;
But we made no sign, we said no word,
We had no word to say;
For we did not meet in the holy night,
But in the shameful day…

I never saw sad men who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
In happy freedom by…

I know not whether Laws be right
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long…

This too I know — and wise it were
If each could know the same —
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest God should see
How men their brothers maim…

With midnight always in one’s heart
And twilight in one’s cell,
We turn the crank, or tear the rope,
Each in his separate Hell,
And the silence is more awful far
Than the sound of a brazen bell.


The Senator From MBNA (From Our January 1998 Issue)

By 9.4.15

This past week, in its ongoing effort to protect Hillary Clinton from any challenge from Joe Biden, the New York Times ran a major story entitled, “Banking Ties Could Haunt Joe Biden in a Race With Populist Overtones.” The Times was especially concerned with “Mr. Biden’s own history with the financial services industry, an economic power in his home state of Delaware.” Not to mention those “critics who saw him as too-close to credit-card companies.” You think so? It’s an old story, actually, at least as old as Byron York’s report in the January 1998 issue of The American Spectator.

Special Report

Justice, Not Social Justice

By 9.4.15

Tom Brady’s a winner. You can glean that from that last-minute look on the face of cornerback Richard Sherman or by reading the scorching rebuke of the NFL by Judge Richard Berman.

But you mainly understand this merely by watching—and not necessarily on fall Sundays—Tom Brady. But the jaundiced perspective of 2015 America senses that people marry supermodel brides, live in mansions, and bedizen their fingers with Super Bowl rings by cheating. When “congratulations” yields to “no fair” one begins to understand just how much losing is winning. 

Tom Brady, as he did on the field in his four Super Bowl victories, won fair and square in federal court on Thursday when Judge Richard Berman vacated the four-game suspension meted out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell judged fair and square on appeal.

Patriot Nation

A Victory for Discipline, Properly Understood

By 9.4.15

My initial reaction to a federal judge tossing Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was as close to Rob Gronkowski spiking the football as I can get. As a longtime New England Patriots fan, it was difficult to avoid social media trash-talking: Court also awards quarterback the Super Bowl rings belonging to Joe Namath and Peyton Manning.

But the truth is Brady’s victory is a win for 31 other NFL teams—if cooler heads prevail and this leads to changes in the way the league office handles player discipline.

The NFL’s current process is broken. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) arguably gives the commissioner too much power in these matters, but the league has stretched even that to a legal breaking point.

Courts are generally reluctant to overturn arbitration awards. The whole point of arbitration is to keep these kinds of disputes from ever seeing the inside of a courtroom in the first place. There is also ample precedent the NFL can, and did, cite. Even when facing liberal judges, the league should generally win these cases with ease.

Breaking News

Donald Trump’s September 3 Press Briefing

By 9.3.15

Reince Priebus came to see Trump at his NYC offices today, after which Trump held a news briefing outside his building. The crowd seemed not to be able to get enough of him, and Trump obliged by taking more questions than he’d planned. Anyone watching this briefing would come away scratching their head, for the man doesn’t fit the image painted of him by the conservative news media. Buffoon? Unpresidential? Nativist? Racist? Demagogue? Absolutely not.

Trump was in control, happy to answer any question without looking at notes, and not sounding like he’d been briefed by consultants. The press was remarkably friendly, and he responded in kind. The Jorge Ramos incident still fresh in their minds, everyone behaved themselves.

Last Call

Donald Trump’s ‘Fairness’ Crusade

By 9.3.15

“All I ask is fairness,” Donald Trump has told the media. He was the only GOP presidential hopeful to raise his hand and refuse to pledge not to run as a third-party candidate at the Fox News debate. Now he faces a deadline — September 30 — to make that pledge or forfeit the opportunity to run in South Carolina’s February primary. Unfair, in Trump World, means not completely stacked in Trump’s favor.

Maybe he will take the pledge. “I will say that the RNC and the Republican Party — I think I’ve been treated very fairly over the last period of time,” Trump told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt last month. Trump, you see, is leading in the polls.

Methinks Trump is leading because voters are more interested in sending a message to Washington about their disgust with politics as usual than in actually making the former reality TV star the nation’s commander in chief. But also, Trump is a genius at playing the victim card.

Another Perspective

Trump Takes on the New Nativists

By 9.3.15

Call them the New Nativists. The Know Everythings.

Appallingly arrogant, insufferably elitist, wildly disconnected from every day Americans and profoundly impressed by a presumed intellectual and moral superiority that others find decidedly un-conservative at best and bigoted at worst — some of Donald Trump’s critics have not only gone around the bend they have jumped the shark. And some of the anti-Trump criticism is tied tight to an illegal immigration movement that is — it needs to be said — flat out racist. Determined to remake an America based on color-blind principles of freedom and liberty into a balkanized country divided by race and class. Re-creating America as the new old-South Africa — or bringing the social, race-based class warfare of Mexico northward.

Special Report

From Barbary to the Gulf: Corsairs Then and Now

By 9.3.15

In 2007, two years before he became Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren penned a magisterial history of America’s long involvement in the Middle East, which goes back to within a decade of America’s founding. In Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, Oren shows that not only was America involved in what then was called the Orient; he shows the extent of entanglement, and consequent great influence exerted by, America’s long tribulations with the Barbary pirates. The tale he so deftly spins holds lessons for America today—lessons sadly ignored by the current administration.