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A Further Perspective

The Hole in Trump’s Wall

By 8.24.15

Donald Trump is commanding center stage with his pronouncements on illegal immigration. He says he will build a wall along the Mexican border, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, and that he will get the government of Mexico to pay for it.

He conjures up a vision of thousands of Mexican rapists, drug dealers and other criminals flowing here unimpeded. He claims he “invented” immigration as an issue. It’s true he is the one who has made it the issue of the day every day recently, but the other candidates had been discussing it for months. 

Trump suggests that the Mexican government might even be behind the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border. He said he had evidence to substantiate that claim. When asked for it by a journalist, he said he’d had a guided tour of the Mexican border. It turns out this included a chance conversation with a member of the Border Patrol who grumbled that he thought the Mexican government hadn’t been doing enough to stop border crossings. 

Among the Intellectualoids

Politi-speak: Who Needs Clarity?

By 8.24.15

I get paid to listen to people (mostly politicians) talk at length while saying as little as possible. They often hide behind mind-numbing words to obscure what they really mean. When I hear a politician promise “transparency,” he or she most likely means it as much as Barack Obama meant that his vaunted “most transparent administration in history” would be forthcoming and accountable. When candidates talk up “comprehensive immigration reform,” they don’t want to reform immigration law; they want to gut immigration law. When pols talk about leadership, they’re usually telling voters exactly what they want to hear.

Special Report

Lessons From Las Vegas

By 8.21.15

“Scared money don’t make no money.”

It’s a lesson I’ll never forget, not least because of the circumstances: Chris and I were playing blackjack at a Las Vegas casino last week, betting about $15 a hand. A young black guy walked over and — staying standing the whole time — put down a black chip (that’s $100 for the newbies) on the space between my bet and Chris’ bet…and promptly won. He yelled something which I didn’t quite catch, picked up his winnings, and walked back to the nearby roulette table where his friend was playing.

The Hillary Watch

Hillary: Prisoner of Her Own Device

By 8.21.15

Noted technologist Hillary Rodham Clinton troubleshot herself in the foot in Tuesday’s press conference, an injury exacerbated by her foot being in her mouth at the time. Fox correspondent Ed Henry forgot the rule of etiquette which instructs men not to look closely at ladies who are running. It was too confusing to capture all the details, but I did pick up the word “server” at several key points in his question. I gather this was a reference to Hillary’s early campaign scandal when she and Huma dined at a Chipotle in Iowa and failed to leave the server a tip for his trouble.

This practice compared unfavorably with her husband, who never failed to give a little bonus to young people delivering pizza or other treats. In her embarrassment, Hillary muttered something about wiping with a cloth, showing she has learned a trick or two from her husband. Still, Trump has her outflanked on the Chipotle issue. The food is alien to his digestion, so he builds up his stomach wall with antacid and he makes those Mexicans pay for it.

The Nation's Pulse

Jared, We Hardly Knew Ye

By 8.21.15

What does it profit a man to loseth the weight but gaineth the cell-block moniker “chomo”?

Jared Fogle pleaded guilty to child pornography and underage sex charges on Wednesday. The sandwich salesman faces five-to-twelve years in jail, imminent divorce, and, worst of all, a plummeting Q-Score.

If you remember Jared’s first Subway ads that ran around the turn of the century, you long ago aged out of his dating pool. During the Jared-Subway marriage, the eatery’s revenues more than tripled on a campaign that stressed Fogle halving his size on a diet of sandwiches at the fast-food joint. Jared’s unthreatening image appears in hindsight as honest as his dine-out-weigh-less message.

“Jared gave Subway the health halo before any of us even knew the term,” Nation's Restaurant News editor Robin Lee Allen told USA Today in 2013. Subway still offers subs that taste good. They just don’t taste the same.

Ben Stein's Diary

Where There’s Smoke

By 8.20.15

Smoke and fire all over the state of Idaho and large parts of Washington. The smoke is painful and unhealthful. But we are still having a good time here. Last night, my friend Ken and I drove up to Hill’s Resort on Luby Bay in Priest Lake. My wife did not care to make the drive so she stayed home and rested.

The drive along the Pendoreille River was glorious, as always, but the smoke cut down on the ability to see colors. The gas station/grille/grocery store called Mama Mac’s was filled with its usual cheery customers.

Hill’s was jammed with wholesome, prosperous, happy-looking families. The waitresses and hostesses greeted us energetically. Come to think of it, everyone greeted us cheerfully everywhere we went. There are so many beautiful college girls working as servers at Hill’s, it is almost unbelievable. The ribs are spectacular. The view is breathtaking and out on the dock, everyone also greets me as if I were an old pal. I guess I am.

A large party near us was celebrating the birthday of a sweet-looking 13-year old. I sang, “Happy Birthday” to her and her 14-person family.

Another Perspective

Trump’s Immigration Outline Actually Puts the Horse Before the Cart

By 8.20.15

Whatever anyone might think of Donald Trump, his recently unveiled blueprint for immigration reform is a serious plan, worthy of serious consideration. It fundamentally changes the terms of a long-simmering debate that has consistently failed to reach any sort of resolution by establishing a public interest objective, coupled with meaningful deterrence and enforcement.

Three times in the past decade — 2006, 2007, and 2013 — bipartisan immigration “reform” legislation has died in Congress because the plans being proposed were strongly opposed by the American public. Each of those attempts at overhauling our immigration policies were centered on satisfying the demands of millions of people who broke our laws and businesses that wanted even greater access to cheaper foreign labor.

The Hillary Watch

Hillary Clinton: Return of the Congenital Liar

By 8.20.15

It was a chance for a fresh start. 

Hillary Clinton had a brand new clean slate. After years of imprinting on the American people that she was a not so clever liar for whom allegations of deceitful, arrogant, and even bullying behavior seemed to follow her like a perpetual rain cloud — to be Secretary of State was a chance to begin again. To shine as the smart woman her most devoted supporters insist she really is.

Gone would be the stories about the missing Rose Law Firm billing records that mysteriously turned up on a table in the White House Residence. Gone too would be the memory of her conduct in the Whitewater investigation, where the prosecutors assessment of her testimony was described as follows by Washington Post and Time investigative reporters Susan Schmidt and Michael Weisskopf in their 2000 book Truth at Any Cost: Ken Starr and the Unmaking of Bill Clinton:

Virtually everybody concluded that the first lady had lied but that the evidence was not strong enough to convict her.

Campaign Crawlers

Could Ted Cruz End Up as the Establishment Candidate?

By 8.20.15

Have you looked inside the latest CNN poll? You’ll find a very interesting number — namely, that Jeb Bush’s approval-disapproval numbers sit at a devastating 35-57.

That doesn’t look like the inevitability we’ve been sold by his surrogates, does it?

What seems quite apparent so far is the GOP establishment, and the Chamber of Commerce crowd who forced Mitt Romney down the throats of an unenthusiastic Republican electorate four years ago, cannot produce a nominee in this cycle. Each poll which gives a majority of the vote to candidates of some stripe of insurgency — Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul — makes that clear.

The Hillary Watch

The Joke’s on Us

By 8.20.15

Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Jackie Gingrich Cushman.

Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee for the 2016 election, appears to be growing weary of answering, or not answering fully, questions about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

During a news conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas, journalist Ed Henry repeatedly asked Clinton about the server and her email. When asked if she had wiped her server clean, Clinton responded by waving her hand in a wiping motion and saying, “What, like with a cloth or something?”

It wasn’t just the language and the gesture; it was the smirking expression that went along with the answer.

The implication from Clinton: Are you seriously asking me this question? Don’t you know that I’m above these pedestrian matters?