Historically, conservatism has succeeded when it has offered either a strong intellectual argument or a convincing emotional one. Over the past four years, it has done neither well. With the Conservative Political Action Conference over and the Republican National Committee’s self-assessment out, the talk now turns to finding a better way forward. So who is the future of the party? The answer may be found in Kentucky and Florida. But before looking ahead, let’s first look back. In the middle of the 20th century, conservatism was the domain of intellectuals like F.A. Hayek,
“The president’s continued adherence to [SDI] constitutes one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft.” — Senator Joseph Biden on Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, designed to protect against nuclear attacks from nuclear armed enemies like North Korea“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the U.S. will add 14 interceptors to the 30 in its missile defense system by fiscal 2017, sending a signal to North Korea after the totalitarian regime threatened nuclear strikes.” — Bloomberg Business Week on the Obama-Biden Administration decision to belatedly deploy an underdeveloped SDI against a potential North Korean attack
WASHINGTON -- Apparently New York City´s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg whiles away his last hours in the mayor´s palace daydreaming. He has been mayor for almost three terms and though his mayorship may not have been as heroic or even as effective as that of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, it has at least kept the city up to Mayor Giuliani´s standards of cleanliness, law and order, and an approximation of sense of financial rectitude. So if Bloomberg is no Rudy Giuliani, at least he has done OK up until now. Now his daydreams are taking on the air of delusion.
In May 2012, the Washington Post published the findings of its deep dive into Mitt Romney’s past. The paper had been working on a big investigative journalism piece that would finally reveal what no one else could uncover about Romney. Utilizing the resources that only major dailies can marshal, and proudly speaking truth to power and defending the people’s right to know, the Post threw the 2012 election into pure chaos, upending everything voters thought they knew about the candidates. Mitt Romney, as a youngster, once cut someone else’s hair. It didn’t sound like such a bombshell at first blush,
General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson plans to roll up to Capitol Hill Thursday in a flashy new Corvette Stingray less than 24 hours after settlement talks fell apart in a lawsuit that could cost GM at least $1 billion–and add to the nearly $20 billion taxpayers have already lost on the 2009 bailout. GM spokeswoman Heather Rosenker expects a “full house” when Akerson debuts the 450 horsepower sports car at the Capitol Hill Club. The CEO then plans to update the bipartisan gathering on the state of GM in a closed-door meeting. “We update stakeholders just like members of congress
An Army judge in Texas just made a somewhat unconventional ruling in the trial of Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan: She refused to let him plead guilty. Why? It would enable him to avoid execution. Apparently, the Army would not be satisfied to see this alleged mass murderer simply go to jail for a few decades. It appears the prosecution is out for blood. The situation is a little bit dicey, when you think about it. After Hasan´s lawyers made it very clear that Hasan would plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty,
RICHMOND — The girls ages 6 to 16 sit in order of size in the drab lobby of the Richmond City Jail, their glittery shoes swinging back and forth. “I don’t like it here,” says Jhaniyika Morman, 6, who covers her eyes, smudging her blue eye shadow and pointing toward the jail’s visitation booths, where inmates are separated from their visitors by thick glass. “I’m nervous. I hope he recognizes me,” mumbles Alexis Atkins, 9, who has her blond hair curled into long ringlets and keeps zipping and unzipping her hot-pink purse. Down the hall, through several gates
For all the Obama-era talk of decline, there is at least one reason why America probably won’t, at least not quite yet. “Peak oil” and our “oil addiction” were supposed to have ensured that we ran out of either gas or the money to buy it. Now, suddenly, we have more gas and oil than ever before. But the key question is: Why do we? The oil-and-gas renaissance was brought on by horizontal drilling and fracking that opened up vast new reserves that were previously either unknown or considered unrecoverable. Both technological breakthroughs were American discoveries,
Republicans are deep into self-criticism. Stung by November’s losses, GOP elders have released a report pushing the party to escape its “ideological cul-de-sac” and to “learn from successful Republicans on the state level.” They should add, “Don’t blow your advantage in the states.” While the GOP struggles to win national elections, it has grabbed 30 governors’ mansions and state legislatures. Buoyed by helpful redistricting, state candidates have sold Americans on Republican principles of limited government and free-market capitalism. At the same time, deeply red legislatures are now pushing the kinds of social issues
On Tuesday, Kentucky senator Rand Paul delivered a speech in favor of legalizing the status of illegal immigrants and opening up a path to citizenship for them. Immigration hawks were not pleased. "He just p****d away the [presidential] nomination quite honestly," said Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. "That´s what he did today." Paul had previously supported the idea of immigration reform, but the speech removed any possibility that he might move right and challenge the establishment on the issue. Amnesty opponents were left feeling glum about their prospects for a presidential candidate.
With the country facing a nearly $17 trillion — and rising — national debt, it’s somehow comforting to know that we still have enough money to pay $876 a year in federal survivor’s benefits to two children of Civil War veterans. That war ended in 1865. Another 10 Americans are receiving benefits relating to the Spanish-American War, costing taxpayers about $50,000 a year for a conflict waged 115 years ago and helped get Teddy Roosevelt elected vice president . . . in 1900. The character of these “legacy” programs changes a bit (and grows more costly) as their birth grows less distant.
Sen. Harry Reid announced Tuesday that he would not be including Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons in the package of gun legislation he’ll bring to the floor of the Senate. This all but ends gun control advocates’ hopes of reinstating the ban on assault weapons, although Feinstein can offer it as an amendment once Reid’s package is being debated. Reid, however, says there aren’t anywhere near the 51 votes for passage, much less the 60 needed to overcome an expected filibuster.Gun control advocates will no doubt mourn the demise
For Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor who left office under a cloud of personal scandal, political redemption must come in three phases. He completed the first last night when he ran well ahead of 15 other candidates in the Republican primary to fill a vacant congressional seat. The second phase will come on April 2 when he must face former Charleston County council member Curtis Bostic in a runoff. The last would come in May when, if he wins the runoff, he must face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a business-development director who is the sister
Texas and California stand as similar states heading in very different directions. Both are territorially large and boast large urban centers and robust high-tech industries. Both are racially diverse. Both have extensive coastlines and large energy and agribusiness industries. Both share borders with Mexico and have outsized economies. If either California or Texas were their own country, they would rank in the global top 20 and outmuscle most other countries on earth. But California, a Democrat stronghold, suffers from unemployment about two points above the national average. Its state and city budgets flirt with bankruptcy, and its population is fleeing.
Hey, baby steps. They wrote a budget this year, and it earned more votes than all of President Obama’s budgets have earned, combined. And, opposition to Democratic priorities continues to be consistently more bipartisan than the coalition that passed Obamacare. The House on Wednesday rejected the Senate Democratic budget in a 154-261 vote, with 35 Democrats voting against the blueprint from their upper chamber colleagues. The Senate Democratic budget was one of three budgets cast aside in a series of votes Wednesday after a debate in which Republicans excoriated President Obama for failing
WASHINGTON -- A popular tune by Simon and Garfunkel written after John F. Kennedy´s assassination and Chubby Checker´s 1960s dance hit "The Twist" will be among 25 recordings selected for preservation at the Library of Congress. These are just a few sounds of the 20th century being added to the National Recording Registry on Thursday for long-term preservation due to their cultural, artistic and historic importance. The library said Checker´s rendition of "The Twist" became a symbol for the energy and excitement of the early 60s after "American Bandstand" host
JERUSALEM-- On the second day of a Mideast tour, U.S. President Barack Obama is set to emphasize the importance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, a message underscored Thursday when Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets into southern Israel. After a visit to Israel´s national museum - where he was inspecting the Dead Sea Scrolls, which highlight the Jewish people´s ancient connection to the land that is now Israel - Obama will head to the West Bank to tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority.
A new policy at the popular pharmacy chain CVS is causing outrage after the company announced it will require its employees to report their weight, BMI, and glucose levels--or pay a hefty fine. CVS Caremark, which is based in Rhode Island, has some 200,000 employees. The controversial new policy would require workers to sign a waiver that they ‘voluntarily’ disclosed the information, but those who opt out must pay a $600 fee. Patient advocate groups say this is just another coercive measure and worry that those employees in poorer health might risk getting fired.
Barack Obama´s first tricky presidential visit to Israel has not gotten off to an auspicious start. First his $1.5 million armored car known as ´Beast´ broke down in embarrassing circumstances and now it seems his Israeli hosts have dug up a beautiful magnolia tree he planted in the morning in the name of peace. [Snip] President Obama told Peres, ´It is an incredible honor to offer this tree to this beautiful garden, and to someone who is champion of the Israeli people and a champion of peace.´ However, The Times of Israel and Israeli news website Ynet reported that
We have all heard an amateur weather forecaster grumble that a cold snap is on the way with the complaint: "I can feel it in my bones."[Snip] Now a survey of 1,000 people with joint problems has found that seven out of 10 are convinced that bad weather increases their pain and discomfort. Nationally patients with osteoarthritis are the most likely to suffer when temperatures plunge, with eight out of 10 reporting a link, compared to six out of 10 of those with rheumatic conditions. Paul says: "For a long time these people have been told that it is all
President Barack Obama launched an overt charm offensive on Israel, casting himself as a friend of Benjamin Netanyahu in a fresh attempt to revive the ailing peace process and heal sharp differences on Iran. In a dramatic change of tack from the confrontational approach during his first term as president, Mr Obama acknowledged that he had failed in his goal to achieve progress toward a two-state solution with the Palestinans. "I have not always been as deft as I could have been," he admitted. "Having tried to achieve peace in my first term, I must have screwed up somehow."
Thousands of British pensioners were caught in the middle of a three-way battle between Cyprus, Germany and Russia on Wednesday night, as the authorities drew up plans to prevent them taking their money out of the country. [Snip] About €2 billion (£1.7 billion) is held by British citizens and companies on the island, the second highest amount of any EU country behind Greece. Chris Drake, a retired BBC journalist living in Limmasol, said: "I can´t do anything with my money, even though it is one of the banks that isn´t in trouble. "I can´t move it and I would like
Who do you think has most to gain from press regulation: lying, greedy, corrupt scuzzballs with an awful lot to hide? Or the kind of ordinary, decent people that those lying, greedy, corrupt scuzzballs spend every day of their rotten lives trying to rob and cheat blind? Yeah, me too. Let me give you an excellent example from Australia where press censorship is even worse than it is here. It concerns an expose I wrote in The Australian of one the seediest industries on earth: Big Wind. I wrote it after a visit to a rural hamlet called Waterloo, in
At least eight big providers of mortgage customer service have failed to properly track and resolve serious complaints about servicing fraud, according to an audit of Freddie Mac, the home finance giant that has been propped up by the government since the financial crisis. (Snip) The audit report sheds a harsh light not only on the servicers but on Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency itself, which it faulted for failing to identify the problems in its own examination of Freddie Mac. "Mortgage servicers, Freddie Mac, and FHFA have not adequately fulfilled their respective
Rep. Michele Bachmann literally fled from a reporter’s questions about her claim of “excess” spending by the White House after many of her allegations of new presidential “perks” were debunked. CNN’s Dana Bash, who apparently caught the congresswoman between meetings, was forced to chase her down a hallway when she tried to ask her about the dubious claims she made earlier this month. Bachmann made the allegations at the conservative gathering known as CPAC. The Minnesota Republican devoted some of her speech to slamming Obama over the deadly attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi last
From Sydney Harbour Bridge to Buckingham Palace and the Taj Mahal, some of the world´s greatest landmarks will briefly darken on Saturday night for Earth Hour. Earth Hour originated in Sydney in 2007 with an appeal to people and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to heighten awareness about climate change. The annual switch-off is now being followed in locations in three-quarters of the world´s nations and has the potential to touch hundreds of millions of lives, say its organisers. Promoted through social media, Earth Hour has also mutated in some countries into a potent tool to lobby