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Yes, the Academy — Again!

By 2.24.15

Neil Patrick Harris mocked the, shall we say, non-diversity of the Oscars lineup, but more clamorously received in the political theater of the moment was Patricia Arquette’s summons to get with the equal-pay-for-women cause. Which you might have assumed had slipped from causiness after 52 years of effort in Washington, D.C., to eradicate the imputed pay gap.

Not so. Because, look, “inequality” continues to vex and disgrace the progressive ideal of an America where variations among citizens, as to income, looks, tastes, intelligence and the like, are the result of nefarious Old Guard plots.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963, by Ms. Arquette’s reckoning, seems not to have worked out; nor anything meant since then to “equalize” men and women — the civil rights laws, the Lilly Leadbetter Fair Pay Act, the National Equal Pay Task Force, etc. One federal action after another — and still the pay gap persists! The usual reproach along this line is that full-time women workers take home only 77 percent of the bacon carried off by their male counterparts.

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Special Report

An ISIS Side to America’s History?

By 2.24.15

President Obama’s prayer breakfast speech urging Christians and Americans to avoid a “high horse” before condemning Islamists in light of the Crusades and Jim Crow has provoked wider reflection on comparative national and cultural sins.

Recently, prominent interfaith dialogue advocate Miroslav Volf of Yale Divinity School, in a conversation about ISIS, suggested that early founders of America like the Puritans were not altogether different from radical Islamists.

“I love America, but its first founders, like Muslim extremists, advocated killing for blasphemy, adultery, idolatry,” Volf explained in a tweet. When challenged, he asked how long Roman Catholicism took to embrace religious liberty and suggested that radical Islam, with time and globalization, would transition to tolerance.

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The Obama Watch

Giuliani Versus Obama

By 2.24.15

The firestorm of denunciation of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for having said that he did not think Barack Obama loved America, is in one sense out of all proportion to that remark — especially at a time when there are much bigger issues, including wars raging, terrorist atrocities, and a nuclear Iran on the horizon.

Against that background of strife and dangers on the world stage, it may seem as if Barack Obama’s feelings, or Rudolph Giuliani’s opinion about those feelings, should not matter so much, especially when it is hard to know with certainty how anyone feels. Yet when someone is the leader of a great nation at a historic juncture, it is more than idle curiosity to know what drives him.

It is not clear what the basis was for so much outrage at Mayor Giuliani’s opinion about President Obama. Was it that what Giuliani said was demonstrably false? Was it that Barack Obama is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty?

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Another Perspective

Palestinians in a State

By 2.24.15

Nearly half a century ago, back in 1968, Woody Allen had his own television show devoted to snappy quips about this and that. In one ten-minute segment, he brought William F. Buckley on as a guest and the two of them fielded questions from the audience. One earnest young woman directed her query to Mister Allen: “Do you think Israel should give back the land it won in last year’s war?”

Allen said no and then paused a moment for effect. “… I think they should sell it back.”

The audience laughed appreciatively but in fact that view has ever since been the official policy of both Israel and the United States. Israel is prepared to sell it back but there has been much haggling over the price. At the very least the demand is for the Palestinians who purchase it to practice civility and neighborliness in snuggling up against the Jewish state’s fragile border.

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Culture Vultures

Five Hours of Oscars

By 2.23.15

I valiantly tried to avoid the Oscars, because that’s what sensible people do. Why force myself to watch millionaires award themselves fake prizes after a nonsensical campaign period that favors the politically connected over the popular, only to be randomly lectured on my of compassion for the downtrodden they haven’t seen since they realized they were unqualified for any job that required real thought when I already get enough of that covering politics every day? 

I do it, America, because I care. And because, at least, the people are prettier. In theory. Aaron Schock excepted, probably.

At any rate, last night, America was subjected to the five long hours of The Oscars, the last in a series of Hollywood events that coddle the fragile egos of our entertainers, lest they realize that we could easily live without them, if only we brought back traveling circus freak shows. Circus freaks are, after all, a genial bunch, and the miserable collection of Hollywood elite are only happy when gifted a golden statuette for their “brave” and “uncompromising” performance as an ugly person with real problems.

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Political Hay

Smearing Walker With Giuliani

By 2.23.15

We can tell who the Democrat media fears among the GOP 2016 presidential field; it’s tipping its hand.

Fresh off the castigation of Scott Walker for his lack of a college degree and his refusal to be dragged into the question of evolution vs. creationism, Walker is now being dragged through the mud for failing to repudiate statements made by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani assailing the patriotism of President Barack Obama.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” said the former mayor at a Manhattan fundraiser for Walker a week ago. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

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The Obama Watch

For Love of Obama

By 2.23.15

I’m not sure why the Left is so aghast that Rudy Giuliani dared suggest that President Obama didn’t love America. The Left sure doesn’t.

How often has Bill Maher, a man who gave $1 million of his own money to assure Obama’s re-election, said America is a stupid country?

When Jonathan Gruber attributed the passage of Obamacare to the “stupidity” of the American voter, Maher enthusiastically seconded his motion.

America evokes intense feelings among the Left — contempt, condescension, embarrassment. Love is not among these emotions.

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The Right Prescription

No, Mr. President, Obamacare Isn’t Working

By 2.23.15

Last week, the White House took to Twitter for purposes of publicizing its latest Obamacare enrollment blarney. Far more informative than the tweet’s fictitious sign-up numbers was the schmaltzy video to which it was linked. Staged in the Oval Office, this one-act farce features a simpering HHS Secretary briefing our Thespian in Chief, who then delivers the following soliloquy: “The Affordable Care Act is working. It’s working better than we anticipated. It’s certainly working a lot better than many of the critics talked about early on.” In Obama’s 27-word script, “working” appears three times. The President doth protest too much, methinks.

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A Further Perspective

What’s in a Name?

By 2.23.15

The editorial writer for the Washington Post (a propaganda arm of the Democrat party) was in quite the tizzy on Wednesday morning. Islamic State (ISIS) had rounded up and beheaded 21 Egyptian Christian workers in Libya, in a sacred rite required by the Koran, that was duly recorded for posterity by an ISIS videographer. Egypt’s president Sisi was understandably put out for, though a Muslim, he regards all citizens of his country as equals. He ordered air strikes against ISIS camps in Libya, and who could blame him?

The Washington Post, that’s who. The editorial prissily complained that Sisi had bombed the wrong terrorist camp. According to the Post, the bloody assassins hailed from the Sirte camps, and Sisi had bombed the Derna camps.

Sisi’s problem, carped the Post, is his chronic failure to make distinctions amongst terrorist groups. That’s a view widely shared on the left. According to a European diplomat quoted in the Wall Street Journal, “Sisi doesn’t have credibility with…moderate Islamists [italics added].”

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Another Perspective

From the OC to Oaktown, Drug War Opposition Builds

By 2.23.15

The times they are a-changin’. This week, a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, joined Oakland medical marijuana dispenser Steve DeAngelo to urge President Barack Obama, a Democrat who started out as a critic of the war on drugs, to curb his Department of Justice. They want Obama to make his prosecutors stop trying to shut down honest marijuana establishments in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and the left-leaning DeAngelo have found common cause in calling out one area in which the federal government can and should do less.

They’ve got the law on their side. For a decade, Rohrabacher and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., pushed for legislation to prohibit the Department of Justice from using federal funds to go after medical cannabis operations in states that have legalized them. California was the first state in the nation to do so, in 1996.

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