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A Further Perspective

Bush vs. Trump: A Revealing Clue

By 9.1.15

Even those of us who are not supporters of either Donald Trump or Jeb Bush can learn something by comparing how each of these men handled people who tried to disrupt their question-and-answer period after a speech.

After Bush’s speech, hecklers from a group called “Black Lives Matter” caused Bush to simply leave the scene. When Trump opened his question-and-answer period by pointing to someone in the audience who had a question, a Hispanic immigration activist who had not been called on simply stood up and started haranguing.

Trump told the activist to sit down because someone else had been called on. But the harangue continued, until a security guard escorted the disrupter out of the room. And Jeb Bush later criticized Trump for having the disrupter removed!

What kind of president would someone make who caves in to those who act as if what they want automatically overrides other people’s rights — that the rules don’t apply to them?

Culture Vultures

Where Have All the Rock Stars Gone?

By 8.31.15

Saturday night, I sat — for six hours — in the pouring rain at Wrigley Field while a string of vintage punk rock bands — Urge Overkill, Naked Raygun, and Cheap Trick — intro'ed for the Foo Fighters, playing the sold out stadium on their Sonic Highways tour. The Foo Fighters themselves played for a straight two and a half of those hours, with an emotional Dave Grohl giving a determined and stellar rock performance to honor the city that first showed him the value of a good amp and a loud guitar.

Sunday night, I sat through what seemed like six hours of Twitter bickering.

I expected to show up this morning and pen a thousand words on the "controversial performances" and "nipple slips" and "terrifyingly inaccurate stereotypes of the Catholic Church" that rolled over my screen between bouts of strobe lighting and angry political outbursts, but all I could think, as I watched Miley Cyrus twerk around, arhythmically, in what looked like a suit made of giant plastic M&Ms, was… when did "rock stars" get so boring

The Right Prescription

How to Lose a Winnable Election

By 8.31.15

Here’s some electoral history that Donald Trump’s supporters should consider before voting in their GOP primaries: Since 1972, no Republican presidential candidate has won a general election with less than 30 percent of the Hispanic vote. Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes received between 30 and 40 percent in their successful presidential bids. All of the GOP losers from 1976 through 2012 received between 24 and 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. This includes George H. W. Bush, who lost in 1992 after his percentage eroded to 25 percent from the 30 percent he garnered in his successful 1988 campaign.

The Obama Watch

The President’s Clean Energy Farce

By 8.31.15

President Obama’s Clean Energy Summit last week was a farce and a flop, rivaled only by the mythical theatrical productions of Bialystock & Bloom. However, after enduring Obama’s speech at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas last Monday, no one was heard humming, in the manner of Matthew Broderick’s accountant-cum-show business-impresario character Max Bloom, “I want to be a producer” of alternative energies. And there certainly isn’t going to be a revival of the show on the strip there any time soon.

Green energy investments are a guaranteed flop, the kind of failure only a shady Broadway producer could envision. This current green energy production really got underway when the economic “stimulus” set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically connected energy projects, according to the Heritage Foundation. Since the halcyon days of the stimulus, 1,900 investigations have been opened to probe stimulus fraud and about 600 convictions have been secured by prosecutors.

What is more, about 10 percent of the Obama-backed green companies have gone bankrupt or out of business.

The Hillary Watch

Can the First Grandmother Light a Partisan Fire?

By 8.31.15

Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Suzanne Fields.

When Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in 2008, the idea of scoring a first for women was trumped by the appeal of electing the first black president. She was a senator then and didn’t want to emphasize the differences in men and women in their approach to making policy.

This time, you’ll hear Clinton use the word “grandmother” frequently in her speeches, even if she has to deal with how much older she is than the younger Republican candidates. The very appearance of Sen. Marco Rubio, age 44 (just the age of John F. Kennedy when he was elected in 1960) emphasizes how Clinton, at 67, seems so yesterday, and he’s so the future. There’s no place for Clinton to go other than to acknowledge her age as experience, and emphasize the homely virtues that come with “grandmotherliness.”

Political Hay

The Middle Finger Mob

By 8.31.15

I don’t blame Donald Trump supporters for being angry. Angry with government, angry with the fecklessness of the GOP, angry with fellow voters imprudent enough to re-elect Barack Obama after seeing the harm he caused in his first term, angry with the use/abuse of American law and generosity by those who have “anchor babies” or participate in “birth tourism” to gain taxpayer-funded benefits if not de facto citizenship.

I disagree with those who say Trump’s supporters aren’t actually angry; after all I’m angry about those things too. Who doesn’t want to flip off this presidency (and certain aspects of the last one), this Congress (and the last ten), and even the Supreme Court at their wanton abdication of their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of the United States?

Play Ball

Vin Scully — An Appreciation

By 8.31.15

For the hard-core baseball fan, which regular TAS readers know me to be, there are certain dates on the baseball calendar we look forward to and celebrate. Dates which renew us and lift our spirits. One is the day pitchers and catchers report for spring training. A big one is Opening Day. As is the beginning of the World Series.

In recent years another inspiring date for me has been the day Vin Scully announces that he will return to call Dodgers games for yet another season. This happy event took place during a game against the Cubs in Dodger Stadium Friday night, which I was happy to view on MLB-TV. The news that Scully’s distinguished, long-running career will continue to run is always good news for fans of baseball, the English language, and civil discourse. The soothing Scully has been turning Dodger games into poetry since Harry Truman was president and the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.

Special Report

Scurrying Rabbi(t)s

By 8.28.15

Three hundred and forty — count ’em — Reform and Conservative rabbis have signed an open letter to the United States Congress, asking the members to vote to confirm the deal negotiated between John Kerry and the government of Iran. They are taking whatever moral, ethical, spiritual, and religious chips they have and trying to cash them in for political capital.

Interestingly, the number of three hundred and forty, when converted into Hebrew letters (the sh sound has a value of three hundred and the m sound equals forty) can spell either ‘sham’ or ‘shame.’ Both of these fit nicely here, as we have sham rabbis whose behavior brings shame upon them and upon the religion they presume to espouse.

Although this is terribly disappointing, it is hardly surprising. These so-called clerics have long since abandoned any moral link to Judaism as a guide to proper behavior and character.

The Nation's Pulse


By 8.28.15

Vester Lee Flanagan, who wore an Obama sticker while covering the elections in 2012, never got the memo that becoming the story serves as the journalist’s nightmare, not his dream.

Flanagan offered political, racial, and even divine motivations for shooting two former colleagues to death live on local television on Wednesday. The reasons read more like rationalizations. Crazier than crazy projects reason upon unreason. One of the healthiest developments in America’s collective mental health involves society’s increasing rejection of the stated, often hifalutin, causes for murderous acts in favor of an acceptance of the explanation articulated by a drooling, shiny-eyed nutter’s stare.

Special Report

Things Louisiana People Will Tell You About Katrina, Part Two

By 8.28.15

Earlier this week, the first installment of our 10-year Hurricane Katrina retrospective focused on the fact that Louisianans weren’t quite so much enamored of the “Bush’s fault” narrative the national media established to describe the poor response to the devastating storm and held the responsibility a bit closer to home.

But there is a good deal more to what you might have heard about Katrina that the people who lived through it and have spent the past 10 years trying to get beyond its effects simply don’t agree with.

First, as we discussed in the first installment, George W. Bush is not seen by the majority of Louisianans as the villain of the storm. That is not meant to say that the federal government is highly regarded for its performance where New Orleans is concerned.

For example, remember the meme about how global warming caused Katrina? That one doesn’t impress too many people in Louisiana.