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  • THE RETIREMENT OF Justice Anthony Kennedy from the U.S. Supreme Court is about to bring a 60-year battle to a head.
    For decades, the country has witnessed a fight between those who believe the Constitution speaks for itself and others who believe it says whatever the judges think it says or even should say.
    Already, the left is apoplectic. Fundraising letters are going out. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sent one within minutes of Kennedy’s retirement announcement and Chris Matthews went ballistic on MSNBC, all but forecasting the end of the world as we know it.
    A few examples will
  • NEED PROOF THAT the current controversy over children of undocumented immigrants is more political than humanitarian? Hillary Clinton said she was adamantly against illegal immigrants and supported a border wall, until she ran for president in 2016.
    In his 1995 State of the Union address President Bill Clinton said “All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.” Bill Clinton went on to tout the importance of border security.
    Now, Democrats, whose policies have contributed to the separation of parents from children — I refer to
  • NOTHING APPEARS BEYOND the reach of the social engineers, not even cake.
    In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Colorado Human Rights Commission had failed to take into account the religious beliefs of a Lakewood, Colo., baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has sometimes sided with the liberal wing of the court, was highly critical of the commission, which he said had written its antidiscrimination regulations in ways that were hostile to the faith of the baker, Jack Phillips.
    Kennedy’s majority opinion specifically noted that
  • “I AM SHOCKED, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here.” 

    —Capt. Louis Renault, “Casablanca”


    Human nature being what it is, it should come as no shock that the next level of approved gambling in America is sports betting. States already have casinos, the lottery and other ways of separating money from the weak for their ravenous and bottomless coffers, so why not allow betting on
  • FOLLOWING THE 2016 ELECTION, President Barack Obama rightly warned the Donald Trump transition team “we only have one president at a time.” It was a reminder that there can be one person articulating American foreign policy so world leaders will have no doubt as to the intentions of the United States.
    Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry ignored that warning and has been behaving as if he’s still in office.
    Kerry, wrote the Boston Globe, engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the United Nations in New York, reportedly to try and salvage the
  • THERE HE GOES. Despite the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years, including declining rates for minorities, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), affectionately called “crazy Bernie” by some conservative talk show hosts, is flirting with the idea that the federal government should guarantee every American a job, paying a minimum of $15 an hour and health care benefits.
    The Washington Post reports the plan would “fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, health care, the environment, education and other goals. Every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so, according to
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:14 AM
    THE ISOLATIONIST SPIRIT, a reluctance to become involved in foreign entanglements, goes back in U.S. history to Thomas Paine and his 1776 pamphlet “Common Sense,” and to George Washington’s 1796 “Farewell Address.”
    In modern times, the isolationist spirit had a strong pull against U.S. involvement in World War I and World War II, but was eventually overcome, however reluctantly, by catastrophic events.
    Whether he realizes it or not, President Donald Trump tapped into that spirit when he instructed military commanders to wrap up America’s role in Syria and to bring the troops home within months. One can almost hear the echo of
  • Tuesday, April 3, 2018 10:25 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP wants us to believe that the ridiculous 2,232-page spending bill passed by Congress, but unread by most members, is a matter of national security, because it has money to rebuild the military. He said he had to sign the bill for that reason, but promised never to sign one like it again. We’ll see.
    Democrats are rejoicing because they got everything they wanted, including a pittance for the border wall, which specifies nothing like the prototypes the president recently inspected in San Diego, Calif.
    Question: If a $21 trillion debt (and counting) and $1.3 trillion budget that requires even more borrowing isn’t enough, what is? Voters
  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018 11:07 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S critics, who include many establishment Republicans, are finding themselves left with few issues given the president’s recent string of successes.
    How difficult it must have been for The New York Times, perhaps the most vehement media critic of the president (The Washington Post is a close runner up) to have this headline on its Saturday front page “Economy, in sweet spot, adds 313,000 jobs. It may get sweeter.”
    At the other end of the political spectrum, talk show host Rush Limbaugh described the good economic news as the epic Trump economic turnaround adding “Make no mistake. This is not some cyclical recovery. This is not a cyclical rebound. This is a
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018 11:56 AM
    OF ALL THE promises candidate Donald Trump made during the 2016 presidential campaign, none will be more difficult to fulfill than cutting the size and cost of the federal government. That’s because Congress, which must decide whether to keep a federal agency, has the final word in such matters and spending, especially spending in one’s home state or district, is what keeps so many of them in office. Who doubts that self-preservation is the primary objective of most members of Congress?
    Ronald Reagan made similar promises about reducing the size of the bloated federal government, but was unable to fulfill them because of congressional intransigence. Perhaps his most notable failure was
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 11:36 AM
    THERE IS A war that has lasted longer than the one in Afghanistan. It is the so-called “war on poverty,” launched by President Lyndon Johnson during his State of the Union address Jan. 8, 1964.
    While the poverty rate dropped from 17.3% to 11.1% in the ensuing decade, it has remained between 11% and 15.2% ever since, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Interestingly, as Census figures show, the poverty rate had already begun to decline starting in 1959, five years before the Johnson initiative was announced.
    Many conservatives have argued that
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 11:11 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S first State of the Union address set a new standard, for himself. If he lives up to that standard in future speeches, he may go far in changing his image from a blustering, ad-libbing “entertainer,” to someone who looks and sounds, shall I say it, more presidential.
    The speech was well-crafted, delivered in a mostly low-key manner and timed perfectly to link themes with flesh-and-blood guests in the balcony. It didn’t hurt that first lady Melania Trump looked stunning in an all-white suit and caused jaws to drop as she descended the balcony stairs to her seat.
    The president appealed to Democrats to find common ground on important issues, but the TV cameras showed members on the Democratic side of the aisle with facial expressions that looked like they were in after-school detention. Never has there been
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018 11:01 AM
    “YOU CAN GET a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.”
    This quote has often been attributed to the late Chicago, Ill., mobster Al Capone who, with his fellow organized crime buddies, used extortion as one of their tactics to get what they wanted. Today’s modern congressional Democrats have clearly benefited from Capone’s example.
    As has occurred many times before, congressional Democrats are threatening a government shutdown Friday if President Donald Trump and Republicans don’t cave on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an American immigration policy that allows eligible immigrant youths, who entered the country as minors, protection from
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018 11:29 AM
    I DO NOT make it a practice to comment on the work of fellow columnists, though occasionally some care to comment on mine, which is fine. I’m happy to help them make a living.
    An exception will be made here because of New York Times “conservative” columnist Bret Stephens.
    In an end-of-year column titled “Why I’m Still a Never Trumper,” Stephens listed the accomplishments of the Donald Trump administration: Tax cuts, deregulation, more military spending, cuts for the United Nations, defeat of the Islamic State in Syria, more troops to Afghanistan, arms for Ukraine, getting tough with
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2017 12:15 PM
    SO, A REPUBLICAN-majority Congress has “reformed” the tax code for the first time in 31 years, allowing us to keep a little more of the money we earn. Woohoo!
    Back in the day, when my withholding exceeded my tax liability, I occasionally received a nice little refund check from the U.S. Treasury. The check had the Statue of Liberty on it, which was ironic given that high taxes are the antithesis of liberty.
    During the debate over the tax bill, which was passed last Tuesday and quickly signed by President Donald Trump, we heard a familiar question “How will these tax cuts be paid for?” This from a Congress that has
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:06 AM
    ONE WAY TO kill a predatory animal is to deny it sustenance. The tax-cut bill passed by the Senate, if it clears a conference with the House and President Donald Trump signs it, may be the first step toward starving the big government beast.
    Reporting on the Senate vote early Saturday morning, reflected the biases of various media outlets. Predictably, The New York Times and Washington Post characterized the cuts as favoring the rich, while doing nothing for the poor. Bulletin: Relatively few low-income people pay federal income taxes. They join the 46% of Americans who pay no taxes to Washington.
    Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:06 AM
    THE MUSEUM OF the Bible opened in Washington, D.C., last weekend and not a moment too soon for a city and nation plagued by scandal.
    In addition to ongoing investigations by a special counsel and various congressional committees, sexual harassment seems to have infected the nation’s capital and the country like a scourge.
    One doesn’t have to be Jewish or Christian, the history of these faiths being the focus of the museum, nor does one have to be religious to understand there are consequences to the behaviors now on public display.
    Here’s a verse that might have benefited
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:48 AM
    IF YOU’RE TIRED of the dysfunction in Washington: the backbiting, questioning of motives, failure to agree on much of anything, one-upmanship, allegations about a “stolen” presidential election, Russian “collusion,” posturing and boorish behavior, how about focusing on something that is working and benefits a growing number of people?
    Consider a company called Teladoc, which provides access to a doctor through a computer screen, telephone or mobile app. The waiting time, a company official tells me, is between eight and 10 minutes. That beats any doctor’s office I have ever been in, even with an appointment. The company claims a
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:04 AM
    FEDERAL INCOME TAX was first introduced under the Revenue Act of 1861 to help defray war costs. Congress repealed the tax in 1871, when the need for government revenue declined, only to restore it in 1894, as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act. The public policy debate surrounding the constitutionality of income tax has been going on ever since.
    Given the government’s inventive ways of taking our money and spending it irresponsibly, Congress and enough states took care of the unconstitutional part in 1913, with the passage of the 16th Amendment.
    The federal government has
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:40 AM
    IF IT WERE a plague, the government would rush to quarantine the infected, as occurred during Europe’s Black Death in the 14th century.
    An immigration debate at Seattle University School of Law is a plague of a different sort, but deadly in a different way. The victim here is the right to free speech.
    The Washington Free Beacon reports that Annette Clark, the dean of Seattle University’s Law School, has revoked the school’s sponsorship of a Federalist Society event. The reason? The proposed debate on immigration, hosted by the school’s Access to Justice Institute, might be “harmful” to minority students and undocumented immigrants, aka people
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017 11:16 AM
    IF YOU LIKE professional sports, a major reason — perhaps the reason — you attend games or watch them on TV is that it helps you escape from whatever occupies your mind the rest of the week. You certainly don’t want the issues of the day encroaching on your enjoyment.
    The recent exchange of insults between President Donald Trump and some in the NFL was the latest indication that there is no safe place remaining where one can hide from politics. The game in London, England, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars was doubly offensive because of the many players who knelt down in protest when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played, but stood for the British national anthem “God Save the Queen.” Were they unaware of
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:34 PM
    WHAT JUST HAPPENED? President Donald Trump cut a deal with Democrats to pay for hurricane damage relief and raise the debt ceiling without getting anything in return, except the temporary avoidance of a government shutdown. How to describe this? Was it a sellout or a pragmatic act?
    It’s football season again so let’s call this deal the “option play.” It isn’t used much by today’s professional players, but the play is designed to give a quarterback the option of running the ball or, if he sees he can’t make it through the defensive line, toss it to a player trailing behind him in an effort to gain yards.
    Trump might
  • Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:23 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, has drawn predictable responses. The left, which long ago exceeded its sell-by date when it comes to ideas that work, denounced the decision as racist, that’s all they have, and a perversion of justice. Some moderates, like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, both Arizona Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, joined the critics.
    Arpaio, who is
  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017 10:47 AM
    IN THE SOUTH, during the Jim Crow era, the “one-drop rule,” codified into law, asserted that if a person had just one drop of African-American blood, they were considered black. I wonder what we’d learn if we gave former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke and the white nationalists who caused havoc in Charlottesville, Va., last Saturday, a DNA test to determine their racial makeup?
    Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor, discovered in
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017 11:47 AM
    THE ESTABLISHMENT, a construct of Democrats and Republicans that rules in Washington no matter which party controls government, appears to be over its fainting spell following Donald Trump’s election. It is now throwing everything at him from a daily — make that hourly, even minute by minute — onslaught of investigations to big media’s equivalent of Molotov cocktails.
    Washington, D.C., recently made
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:48 AM
    “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” —French proverb

    While scanning YouTube videos, I came across an appearance by Ronald Reagan on “The Tonight Show,” hosted by Johnny Carson. The year was 1975 and Reagan was “between jobs,” having left office as governor of California, where he served for eight years, but not yet president. He would challenge Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976, barely losing at the nominating convention, but 
  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:21 AM
    PLYMOUTH NOTCH, VT. — When was the last time you heard a member of one political party praise a member of the other party?
    Here, in this hamlet nestled among the Green Mountains, former Baltimore, Md., democratic Mayor Kurt Schmoke rose to speak well of our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, a Republican. The occasion was the annual celebration of Coolidge’s birthday July 4, the only president born on the day we celebrate America’s birth.
    Perhaps it takes the death of
  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:58 AM

    “PUERTO RICO, MY heart’s devotion. Let it sink back in the ocean.” —West Side Story

    The commonwealth of Puerto Rico is drowning. The island, so popular with tourists, is $123 billion in debt. That’s more debt than the $18 billion bankruptcy filed by the city of Detroit, Mich., in 2013. In May, San Juan declared

  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017 11:09 AM
    FOR SHEER HILARITY and hyperbole, it’s hard to beat a recent headline on a Washington Post editorial opposing President Donald Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the nonbinding and unenforceable Paris climate agreement.
    “Trump turns his back on the world,” it “screamed.”
    A close second goes to the headline on a New York Times piece by columnist David Brooks: “Donald Trump poisons the world.”
    Dishonorable mention goes to
  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017 11:33 AM
    TRUSTING SAUDI ARABIA to combat terrorists and extremists, and drive them out, as President Donald Trump called on the kingdom and other Arab and Muslim nations to do in his Riyadh speech, is akin to forging an alliance with the Ku Klux Klan to combat racism and anti-Semitism. Saudi Arabia has for years promoted the very evil they now commit to fighting through a newly established Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. Never forget that 15 of the
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:37 AM
    AWARDS ONCE MEANT something. There was a time not that long ago when they were given in recognition of important accomplishments. Today, we tend to value celebrity over steady achievement. Fame is paramount. It matters little how one attains it. The Kardashians are just one of many examples.
    We now give participation awards to 
  • Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:53 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP did something Monday I have long advocated. He met with a small group of conservative journalists, pundits and radio talk show hosts. I was among them.
    After ticking off a list of what he said were his accomplishments leading up to the arbitrary 100-day marker of his presidency, we asked him 
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:44 AM
    NEARLY THREE DOZEN men sit on death row in Arkansas, where capital punishment has been suspended since 2005. Unless clemency is granted, seven of them, an eighth man was granted a temporary reprieve, will be given lethal injections all within a 10-day period, between April 17 and 27.
    Why so many? Why the rush?
    The New York Times reports that
  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017 10:11 AM
    IN THE AFTERMATH of the debacle over the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Donald Trump can learn a valuable lesson that will serve him well in the next battle over tax reform and other issues.
    The president was 
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:20 AM
    “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” —Ronald Reagan

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP presented his first budget to 
  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 10:52 AM
    BEFORE BECOMING A newspaper columnist, I was a broadcast-news reporter for local TV stations and occasionally appeared on NBC radio and the television networks. I have some experience at being on the receiving end of hostilities directed at the media.
    At a pro-Nixon, pro-Vietnam war rally I
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:59 AM
    AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL students fall well behind students around the world in math and science proficiency. This is not debatable. According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, both cited in The New York Times in 2012, “Fourth- and eighth-grade students in the United States continue to lag behind students in
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2017 12:00 PM
    JUST DAYS INTO the Donald Trump administration, the left’s narrative is clear. First, it was that Trump is an illegitimate president because he didn’t win the popular vote, claims about voter fraud notwithstanding.
    Then, the left tried name-calling: unfit, immoral, crude, high-handed, fascist. His supporters stuck with him when similar tactics were tried during the campaign.
    Now, the narrative has gone racist, that all-purpose
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 10:38 AM
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S inaugural address may not have risen to the rhetorical level of John F. Kennedy (“The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans” and “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”) or Ronald Reagan’s critique of government (“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”) or even Barack Obama’s in 2009 (“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”), but the speech set out large goals, many details of which are yet to be revealed.


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