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A Further Perspective

Megyn Kelly Asked the Wrong Question

By 5.21.15

For more than a week now, political pundits have been obsessing over how Jeb Bush answered one question from Megyn Kelly. More precisely, they’ve been obsessing over how Jeb Bush answered a question that Megyn Kelly didn’t ask.

Kelly asked, “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion [of Iraq]?” But Bush answered the question, “Based on what your brother and other political leaders thought they knew at the time, would you have sought the invasion of Iraq?”

Politicians frequently answer questions they aren’t asked in order to avoid the questions they actually are; however, in this case Bush appeared to genuinely misunderstand the question. Oddly, there was no follow-up from Megyn Kelly pointing out to Governor Bush that he’d answered the wrong question, which may have cleared things up right there.

My Very Own Raccoon Woodstock

By 5.21.15

If you are ever the victim of a home invasion, here’s some advice: don’t kill the intruder unless he or she is a human being. If the intruder is an animal — in particular an animal with more than two but fewer than six legs — odds are that anything you do to protect your family and property will be against the law.

That is the best this writer has been able to figure out while trying to rid a suburban home of some squatters from the natural world.

The skein of local, state, and federal laws governing removal and disposal of wild creatures is, like most legal code, beyond the grasp of the non-specialist. And my little patch of heaven in the Washington Beltway is a way station for a variety of snakes, deer, opossums, and other critters with an apparent instinct for working the law to their own advantage. Most importantly, it’s a pit stop for a great number of raccoons, those furry Hamburglar lookalikes celebrated in stories, songs, and hats.

The Hillary Watch

Hillary’s Holdout Is Halted

By 5.20.15

On Monday, the State Department said it might take until January 2016 for the agency to release to the public Hillary Clinton’s official secretary of state emails. Yesterday, a federal judge slapped down that plan and gave State a week to provide a plan for the ongoing “rolling” release of those emails — which Hillary’s staff gave to the government on paper, not in electronic form, in a dozen large boxes, creating a long, boring job for a handful of workers at Foggy Bottom.

Later on Tuesday, amidst the latest news of the simmering email scandal, Fox News reporter Ed Henry shouted his frustration at Mrs. Clinton not having taken a question from a reporter for nearly a month. Mr. Henry later explained that “We had been through one of these campaign events after another, getting monotonous, one city after another. Roundtables. All candidates, Democrats and Republicans, are able to do their talking points, but we’ve gone 27, 28 days without a question. That’s why I just jumped in.”

Political Hay

Not Smart to Make the NSA Go Dark

By 5.20.15

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., isn’t worried that, absent a Senate vote, key provisions of the Patriot Act are slated to sunset May 31. The GOP presidential hopeful told Meet the Press Sunday that a federal appeals court found the data-gathering authorized under the Patriot Act’s Section 215 is unconstitutional, “so really, it ought to stop.” He continued: “I don’t want to replace it with another system. I really think that we could get along with the Constitution just fine.”

Paul spoke to the same effect during a recent trip to San Francisco. He even has threatened a filibuster, if needed, to make the Patriot Act’s data collection program go dark.

The Energy Spectator

Russia Pushes Western Anti-Fracking Movement

By 5.20.15

Few things scare Vladimir Putin, the Russian head of state who routinely poses with his shirt off, flies airplanes to douse the fires threatening the lives of millions of Russians, shoots Siberian tigers with tranquilizer guns, and still finds time to steal Super Bowl rings. However, there is one thing the leader of Russia, an 8th degree black belt, actually fears: hydraulic fracturing.

The Hillary Watch

It Takes a Pillage

By 5.20.15

John sells his soul to the Devil. The price is fifty thousand dollars a week for the next four weeks. The first week the Devil shows up two days late and John complains.

The response is flippant.  “Hey, I’m the Devil.  I don’t do punctuality.”

The second week he shows up with only forty-nine thousand and John gets back to griping.  The response:  “I am the Devil.  I don’t do accuracy.”  The third week he comes with cash that is all crumpled and sticky. “I am the Devil. I don’t do cleanliness.”

When the final week rolls around the Devil gets his act together.  He shows up on time with a crisp $100,000 bill.  He hands it to John and asks for change.

“Sorry,” John replies, pocketing the bill.  “I am a sellout.  I don’t do honesty.”

Poor Devil, his technique is so outdated.  He needs to learn from the real masters, the Clintons. Listen closely to the defense offered up by Hillary for all the cash swallowed up by the family “foundation” and you will see how souls can be corrupted without paying a penny. In fact they will pay you for the honor.

Media Matters

The Myth of Objectivity

By 5.20.15

The self-appointed guardians of journalism often deny the existence of liberal media bias. The problem is wildly exaggerated, they have long said, even as Democratic aides like George Stephanopoulos have become reporters and reporters like Jay Carney have become Democratic aides.

The scandal of George Stephanopoulos donating to the Clinton Foundation while covering it is one more confirmation that conservatives have not overstated the problem of media bias. An equivalent offense by a Republican aide turned reporter would result in a hasty firing. But Stephanopoulos can count on his bosses to defend him to the hilt.

He has now apologized for making the donation, but the apology’s emphasis on his failure to go the “extra mile” in disclosing it indicates that he considers the matter minor. By putting his apology in those terms, he is suggesting that the real problem lies in the quickness of conservatives to perceive bias. In other words, he should have gone the “extra mile” in anticipation of that criticism but in a better world, a disclosure about donations to such a worthy “charity” wouldn’t be necessary.

The Current Crisis

Prince Charles’ Defense of the Patagonian Toothfish and More

By 5.20.15

Last week Prince Charles, in all likelihood the next monarch of Great Britain, suffered a defeat. For ten years he and his aides have resisted a concerted effort to make public certain letters written by him and sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair and several of his ministers. The British newspaper, the Guardian, had sought the letters—27 written in 2004 and 2005—under a Freedom of Information Act inquiry. Now Britain’s Supreme Court has ordered that the letters be released to the public. So this is one the royals lost and the anti-monarchists at the Guardian won. Yet, asking as purely a cisatlantic spectator, I cannot for the life of me discern why the Guardian sought these letters in the first place; or, for that matter, why Prince Charles objected to making them public.

A Further Perspective

Amid the Ruins of Obamacare

By 5.20.15

On Monday in these pages, David Catron filled our readers in about a most excellent plan by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to institute a Republican response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more accurately known as Obamacare. This column will bring to light another Republican bill, the Patient Freedom Act to be rolled out Thursday at the Hudson Institute by its author, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

The two bills are complementary. Cassidy calls them cousins. Both provide an aggressive political response to Obamacare without the kind of aggressive policymaking the Democrats’ utopian mishmash of mandates, taxes, and subsidies inflicted on the public.

Main Street U.S.A.

Rise Up for Free Speech!

By 5.19.15

Columnist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers’ new book, The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, links her snugly to the cause of unfettered thought and expression — important for conservatives, certainly but also for non-conservatives. As it should be for any American, come to think of it, as the “progressive” left pounds and pulverizes anyone of differing mind and purpose.

The politicization of almost everything has put at some risk, in the most talkative of ages, the broadly assumed right of First Amendment-cherishing Americans to speak their pieces. “The illiberal left,” says Powers, “... believes that people who express ideological, philosophical, or political views that don’t line up with their preferences should be completely silenced.” In other words, delegitimized as people worth hearing on the showing of “self-appointed overlords — activists, university administrators, journalists, and politicians — who have determined what views are acceptable to express. So, shut up — or else.”