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Campaign Crawlers

Hillary’s Fatal Conceit

By 4.17.15

Even if you were naïve enough to believe that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was actually listening to anything through her mercifully brief “listening tour” to Iowa — during which she met with a handful of hand-selected and bused-in Democratic activists — the whole adventure demonstrates what Nobel prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek called “the Fatal Conceit.”

Special Report

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom of Night

By 4.17.15

A postman took a flight from Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., bypassing the obligatory digital-rape from the TSA. He eluded not only handsy feds and naked-body scanners but three imaginary barriers restricting flight in and around the capital. For such offenses, a lawmaker believes law enforcement should have summarily executed the perpetrator of the victimless crime midair.

How soon until the flight of a paper airplane over the gates of the White House elicits a z-pattern of machine gun fire?

“He should have been subject to being shot out of the sky,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told Hugh Hewitt on his radio program. The solon’s hindsight was not the foresight of his fellow federal employee. Professional letter carrier/amateur aviator Doug Hughes told the Tampa Tribune, “I don’t believe that the authorities are going to shoot down a 61-year-old mailman in a flying bicycle.”

The experience of 9/11 surely makes a shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach not terribly unreasonable. But as the gone-postal letter carrier notes, he commanded a flying bicycle and not a 747.

A Further Perspective

Solution to Atlanta Cheating Scandal Is Education Freedom Accounts

By 4.17.15

Public reaction to eight Atlanta educators being sentenced to jail time has generated a separate controversy over whether the sentences are fair or excessive. I believe we should focus attention not on these adults, but on the truly injured parties — the students. The Atlanta cheating scandal is but a small part of a much larger scandal, the $600 billion spent annually in the U.S. by the governmental monopoly known as traditional public schools, which effectively cheats millions of students, especially low-income minority students, of an equal opportunity to a quality education.

At Large

Nigeria’s Democracy Gets a Boost

By 4.17.15

It may be to Muhammadu Buhari’s advantage that his All Progressives Congress party did not take Rivers state in the gubernatorials that followed Nigeria’s presidential election last week.

Riding the general's coat-tails in his landslide victory last month, his party won a majority in the Senate and may come out even in the governorships of the nation's 36 states when the votes are all counted. State governments are powerful institutions in what is still a federal republic, with big bucks in their coffers. The Nigerian currency unit is the naira and it is broken down into kobos. A kobo is not worth much these days, nor is a naira, so it may be a good time to go short on it. The Nigerian economy’s bulls are a-snorting in the stables and it is likely a boom’s coming.


If the federal structure stays solid, basically. The key to Nigerian success at present is: federation and union, now and forever. If he were not such a hard-nose, the president-elect might be something of a Henry Clay, devoted to the national idea but respectful of regional differences requiring patience on all sides. That is why it is, arguably, better his party did not make it in Rivers.

The Hillary Watch

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Testicular Fortitude’

By 4.17.15

How do you convince folks that a liberal white woman who has spent most of her adult life as the wife of a governor and a president, and then traded on that conjugal experience to become a senator, is tough enough to be the President of the United States?

During her first presidential campaign, Paul Gibson, president of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, noted that leading our great country “is going to take an individual that has testicular fortitude, that’s exactly right, that’s what we got to have.”

As far as Gibson was concerned, while Hillary might have lacked anatomical balls, she nevertheless had what it took to act like a real man.

Is this a sexist comment, or am I being too sensitive? But Hillary didn’t call him out on it. Of course there was also Mike Easley, Governor of North Carolina, North Carolina, who in endorsing Hillary called her a fighter who “makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy.” A “pansy”? Really? Isn’t that homophobic or something?

Ben Stein's Diary

What Would Nixon Do?

By 4.16.15

Your humble servant had the great privilege of being a speechwriter and lawyer for Richard Nixon in the last year of his presidency, 1973-74. I am well aware that he was forced from office and that the powerful people of that era had a low opinion of him.

I am also aware that few would question that in terms of his foreign policy achievements, he and his foreign policy guru, Henry A. Kissinger, working with Brent Scowcroft, were in a class by themselves: opening Red China, wrestling out détente with the Soviet Union, saving Israel and laying a foundation for a durable peace between Egypt and Israel, negotiating a peace treaty ending — temporarily — the war in Vietnam, bringing home the POWs.

These were gigantic triumphs, showing a mastery of diplomacy and defense and a hard-earned scholarship in how the world works.

A Further Perspective

O Rubio, Rubio, Wherefore Art Thou Rubio?

By 4.16.15

“We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., proclaimed in his presidential campaign kickoff Monday. It was impossible not to think of when Barack Obama in 2008 — a freshman senator with an impressive personal story — chose to challenge presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. She had supported President George W. Bush by voting in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq. By 2008, most Democrats opposed that war.

Rubio seemed especially Obama-esque when he took a swipe at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the erstwhile presumptive GOP front-runner.

Like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who also is a freshman senator and Cuban-American, Rubio tells an upbeat story of his immigrant parents’ embracing of the American dream. “He’s an optimistic, positive Republican voice,” opined Ruben Barrales of the Latino-GOP group Grow Elect. And: “Republicans need to focus on not being perceived as the party of ‘no.’“

Another Perspective

Sen. Menendez’s Indictment Insurance Policy — Why Is It Legal?

By 4.16.15

When news broke last month on the Department of Justice’s plans to indict Sen. Robert Menendez on criminal corruption charges, the New Jersey Democrat signaled he would fight.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. 

Easy for him to say. He has the deep pockets necessary to hire the best criminal defense team in the business. Or, I should say, his campaign war chest has the resources to pay those high priced attorneys. Over the course of his extended political career, he has raised over $39 million in campaign contributions, so he is sure to have the funds necessary to pay his team of lawyers.

The test of Menendez’s will really begins now, as a federal indictment charges the senator with 14 counts, including bribery, conspiracy, and wire fraud.

It’s certain to add considerably to the massive legal bills Menendez has already racked up — and that his political supporters are helping pay off. From early 2013 through the end of 2014, Menendez reported spending more than $1.2 million on legal fees, using a combination of cash from his campaign committee and a political action committee, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal documents.


Exclusive: Trump Says Obama Shows ‘Total Desperation’ on Iran

By 4.16.15

Donald Trump wrote the book on deal making. Literally.

Back there in 1987 Trump’s The Art of the Deal was, as Trump books tend to be, a number one bestseller. It was a primer on — what else? — how to do a deal. The man who built a global empire and gained a reputation almost thirty years ago for “an unprecedented education in the practice of deal-making” gave readers a “streetwise” look at how to do a serious deal. To do it well, to make it good — to get what you want.

Now, in an exclusive conversation with The American Spectator The Donald talks about President Obama’s negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapons — and makes plain Obama has violated several of what his long ago classic on deal-making called “Trump Cards: The Elements of the Deal.” 

Where did Obama go wrong? The President violated the basic Trump rule that to get a good deal “use your leverage.” Wrote Trump:

Car Guy

Great Engines of Yesterday

By 4.16.15

Modern car engines are hard to fault... objectively. They start immediately — even when it’s 15 degrees out. They rarely stall out — leaving you dead in the water in the middle of a busy intersection. Most require not much more from you than gas and oil for the first 100,000-plus miles from new.

But when was the last time you turned off the stereo and rolled the window down just to listen to their music? Or proudly popped the hood for your friends?

Not much to see, is there?

You don’t need to be a gearhead to understand.

Ever been in a busy place, like a shopping mall parking lot, and heard the instantly recognizable sound of an old air-cooled VW? We turn to look — and smile, remembering. Anyone who was young in the ’60s knows the distinctive pitch made by a 289 Hi-Po Ford… the low bass rumpa rumpa rumpa of an idling big-block Chevy.