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Political Hay

Conservative Leaders Challenge GOP Congress

By 11.6.14

The American people spoke loud and clear: stop Obama. Period. What they delivered Tuesday night was an unmitigated defeat for liberalism. They want Obamacare repealed, the economy unchained, and amnesty opposed. Among other things.

Yet with planted news stories from GOP establishment operatives in both the Washington Post and the New York Times the idea was being spread that this overwhelming rejection of liberals was in fact a victory for the very ruling class mindset that was explicitly campaigned against by all those Republican winners.

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The Current Crisis

The Elections and the Last Racists

By 11.6.14

So what did you think of the 2014 election? Do I hear talk of a wave election? Is 2014 another 2010 election? I think it is, and that makes it more significant than any other recent election, as I shall explain in due course.

Yet first review the outcome. Republicans have increased their margin in the House of Representatives. That was deemed unlikely a couple of days ago. They have captured the Senate, again a very questionable outcome according to the polls only a few days ago. They have won a majority of governorships, including in one-party Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Moreover, they probably have a majority of state legislatures. And one thing more—the Democrats’ leading campaigners continue, as has been true for years, to be the kiss of death to almost anyone they endorse. I am speaking of my friends, the Clintons.

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Buy the Book

Mini-Me to the Man Who Would Not Die

By From the Sept/Oct 2014 issue

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Economics

No Triple Mandate for the Federal Reserve

By and 11.5.14

A recent speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen got considerable attention over her subtly implied suggestion that the Fed consider taking on a third mandate—reducing economic inequality—in addition to its current dual mandate of keeping inflation in check and unemployment as low as possible. Less noticed, but just as important, were her comments that “business ownership is associated with higher levels of economic mobility,” and that “it has become harder to start and build businesses.”

So is there a role the Fed could play in making entrepreneurship easier and less risky? Yes. Be more modest. Replace the Fed’s current dual mandate with a single mandate—keep the price system as honest and stable as possible.

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A Further Perspective

Reagan and Nixon: Two Speeches

By 11.5.14

Last week Ronald Reagan’s famous October 27 “A Time for Choosing” speech during the 1964 presidential campaign was justly commemorated on its 50th anniversary as Reagan’s dramatic entrance into national politics.

Less commemorated this week was the 45th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s momentous “Silent Majority” appeal to mainstream America to back his Vietnam policy against anti-war zealots demanding immediate surrender.

Asking support from the “great silent majority of my fellow Americans,” Nixon carefully explained that America had “no future as a free society” if an agitated “vocal minority” dictated national policy through street demonstrations. Citing signage cynically and impatiently demanding, “Lose in Vietnam, bring the boys home,” Nixon warned that defeatism and division among Americans would only hinder his power to negotiate a just peace with Communist North Vietnam.

“Let us be united for peace,” Nixon implored. “Let us also be united against defeat. Because let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.”

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Another Perspective

Fort Hood Five Years Later

By 11.5.14

It is the morning of November 5, 2014, and Republicans and conservative activists are overjoyed with last night’s election results which, among other things, saw the GOP take over the Senate, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker winning his third election in four years and Republicans regaining the Governor’s mansion in Massachusetts (subject to a possible recount).

But this morning, the joy is tempered by both sadness and anger. For it was five years ago today, that 12 soldiers, a civilian, and an unborn child were slaughtered in an act of both treason and terrorism by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. As Hasan killed his fellow soldiers, he shouted “Allahu Akbar!!!” over and over again. In his possession were business cards bearing the inscription “S of A,” meaning Soldier of Allah.

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Political Hay

Can You Imagine a President Lindsey Graham?

By 11.5.14

Less than a week before Election Day 2014, Democrats in South Carolina finally got what they’ve long been waiting for: proof that dirt on Senator Lindsey Graham does, indeed, exist. No one expected it to affect his re-election, but the glimpse into Graham’s unscripted life was noteworthy nonetheless. The big secret? That the venerable senator from South Carolina apparently has his eye on bigger and better things.

The public may or may not be inclined to take Graham at his word when he says that he was just being “earthy” when he told a group of white males in Charleston recently that “I’m trying to help you with your tax status. I’m sorry the government’s so f---ed up. If I get to be president, white men in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency.”

According to the tape provided to CNN by “two separate South Carolina Democrats,” his audience laughed. The rest of South Carolina did too — at the idea of a President Lindsey Graham.

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Media Matters

The Media’s Pivot

By 11.5.14

Anticipating dismaying election results, the media downplayed the races as much ado about “nothing.” But historians will certainly find meaning in them. It will no doubt strike them as staggering that a president as “historic” and celebrated as Obama found himself a political orphan in his second term, with some Democrats refusing to disclose whether or not they even voted for him.

Obama rose to prominence in 2004 by casting himself as a transcendent figure who could turn red states blue. He didn’t believe in “blue states or “red states” but in the “United States of America.” He is no longer speaking in those terms. On election day this year, in a preemptive attempt to reject the coming defeat as a repudiation of his presidency, he spoke of the intractability of red states.

“There’s no doubt that, when you look at the Senate races, because of the fact only a third of the Senate is up at any given time, it tends to be a little bit arbitrary which seats are really going to be contested and which aren't,” he told the press. “So, for example, in this election cycle, this is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower.”

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The Obama Watch

Pity Barack Obama

By 11.5.14

Poor Barack Obama.

For him, campaigning is “fun.” But for the last few months, almost nobody has wanted to play with him.

He was only invited to campaign for one Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, and that was for a candidate with an insurmountable lead. (Gary Peters in Michigan.)

His public schedule through Tuesday showed that he hadn’t made a public appearance since last Friday. He was conspicuously absent in the days leading up to, and including, Election Day.

No wonder the man used to being the center of attention was “clearly frustrated“ and “fed up“ by the 2014 midterms even though Democrats breathed slightly easier at Obama’s sequestration.

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Ben Stein's Diary

Who Is Obama to Insult a Genuine War Hero?

By 11.4.14

In the annals of political dirt, nothing since the Civil War touches President Barack Obama’s vilifying of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days.

The alert reader will recall that some unnamed White House staff members spoke in an interview with a famous magazine about PM Netanyahu and called him “a chicken s--t coward.” The White House did not apologize for these scurrilous smears, did not promise to find out who had said them, and did not promise to dismiss whoever said them. This means that for all intents and purposes, they were said by Mr. Obama himself.

Now, first of all, to call the head of government of the only legitimate state in the Middle East, the only real democracy in the region, in some ways the only government of laws east of Italy, a “chickens--t coward...” is indecent and disgusting. To apply this language to the head of the only state in the world actually willing to fight against terrorism for human dignity is revolting on a scale beyond what I can say.

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