We’re a fractious people, always have been, and our politics have been especially colorful. I’m a nearly lifelong fan of John C. Calhoun’s line about Henry Clay: “Like a mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks …”. Our political candidates have been mocked for their love affairs, their wooden legs, their false teeth, and their drinking habits. It’s not elegant, but rude, insulting talk is one of the products of free speech. It’s worth reminding ourselves that free speech around the world is still a rarity, and seems to be becoming even rarer. Lots of countries have
I like what he says, as well as his writing style.
Must make one correction: The "mackerel by moonlight" comparison was made by Sen. John Randolph of Virginia, whose trademarks were razor-sharp wit and colorful insults. This particular insult was directed at Edward Livingston, one of his many political enemies.
Randolph was known for taking his hunting dogs with him onto the floor of the Senate, and for sometimes coming in with whip and spurs.
I also am an admirer of the "mackerel by moonlight" insult, and, in my most cynical moments, of Randolph himself.
FTA: "creativity requires trial and error; it needs open criticism, it relishes the destruction of bad ideas. Free societies are so much more productive and creative than the others in large part because of open debate, just as scientific discovery demands testing all manner of hypotheses. Once you lose the habits of the free mind, it extends to all areas of endeavor. Stifling free speech crushes creativity in all areas of life."
The White House said Friday that North Korea’s reported execution of the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un is “another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime.” Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration hasn’t been able to confirm reports of the execution but has no reason to doubt them. Mr. Carney said the execution shows “the values of the regime, their low regard for human life and what is probably the worst human-rights record in the world.” North Korea’s state-run news service said Jang Song Thaek was guilty of “attempting to overthrow the state by
An “active shooter” killed himself after opening fire at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. A local hospital reported treating at least one victim from the school with a gunshot wound, CNN reported. Police quickly swarmed the suburban Denver school after reports of “active shooter situation,” around lunchtime, Colorado’s KUSA 9News reported. A local hospital reported treating one patient from the school with a gunshot wound, CNN reported. The shooting comes one day before the first anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 students and six teachers during the rampage before taking his own
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the Republican refusal to include unemployment benefits in the Ryan-Murray budget deal is immoral. "It´s interesting to note that they rejected unemployment insurance -- this is so unconscionable, it´s practically at the level of immoral to do. The people who work hard, play by the rules, lose their job through no fault of their own, are not able to get -- continue to get an unemployment insurance check." Again, as I say, not only is it a bad idea from a humanity standpoint, but from an economic standpoint. For every dollar spent on
President Obama will give his 2014 State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, to a joint session of Congress. “As we round out the first session of the 113th Congress, we look ahead to the new year and with it the annual tradition of the president´s State of the Union address,” said Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, making the invitation to Obama. “In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country. In that spirit, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas, particularly for
Like a frustrated child who flips over a board game and screams, "I win!", the George Soros-funded, tax exempt Media Matters for America declared victory in its years-long war against Fox News. Although Fox News regularly pulls in more viewers than both of its left-wing counterparts (CNN and MSNBC) combined, and recent polls show that Fox is trusted more than almost every other news source, Media Matters would like its donors to know it has won: [I]n the coming years, Fox will no longer be the center of Media Matters´ universe. That´s because the group believes it has effectively discredited the
President Barack Obama wants to sound like a different kind of Democrat. He’s connecting to progressive populism with an aggressive, spending-oriented, activist government approach to the economy personified by Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio. Obama’s already backed raising the minimum wage, the start of what White House officials say will be a 2014 domestic agenda — including his State of the Union address and budget — that centers around income inequality and what the government is doing to increase economic mobility. That means changing how he talks about some familiar items, including the Affordable Care Act and the universal
Steve Harvey, host of the eponymous talk show and of Family Feud, will be interviewing President Obama on his daytime talk show next week, according to POLITICO. Harvey will sit down with the president at the White House to talk “family, fatherhood and his plans for the holidays.” In a statement, Harvey said, “Sitting down with the President is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, and I am honored to have the opportunity.” Harvey has previously spoken highly of President Obama, and in 2011 he decried Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West as Uncle Toms for criticizing the president. [photo
New York — The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her — Let me stop you right there. Photos of the day Uruguay legalizes marijuana, Kiev police pull back from protesters, aging U.S. prison population and more. Tuesday´s Photos of the day Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself? At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at
In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee. Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended
The health director who approved the release of President Obama’s birth certificate has died in a plane crash, Hawaiian officials said Thursday. Loretta Fuddy died after the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft she was travelling on went down shortly after leaving Kalaupapa Airport at around 3:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The other eight people on board were rescued, Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air, told NBC News early Thursday, adding that that there was no indication as to why the plane had crashed. Fuddy hit the headlines two years ago when she approved a waiver request allowing Obama to
Fox News host Megyn Kelly has made herself the center of a racial controversy by declaring that Jesus Christ and Santa Claus are white. On Wednesday night, Kelly was responding to an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris, who wrote an article entitled “ Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore .” The popular news host told viewers of “The Kelly File,” her hit FNC program, “When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it´s racist to have a white Santa.’ And by the way, for all you kids
Views of the tea party are at all-time lows in a new poll, as primary challenges to establishment Republicans continue to heat up Washington. Just 30 percent of Americans view the tea party favorably in a new Gallup poll released Wednesday, the movement’s lowest point since Gallup began polling about it during its rise in 2010. Also in a first, a majority of Americans had an unfavorable view of the tea party, at 51 percent. Similar numbers of respondents described themselves as proponents or opponents of the tea party: Twenty-two percent identified themselves as tea party supporters, while 24 percent said they
Columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked new Obamacare rules unveiled by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a late Thursday conference call, saying the Obama administration is “approach[ing] banana republic lawlessness” by issuing the decrees. Krauthammer spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier on a panel with Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as the three reacted to Sebelius’ new directives for insurance companies. “This is exactly a reaction to a deep understanding among Democrats that [Obamacare] is a train wreck,” he said. “And it’s a panic reaction. As the judge said, this is utterly lawless. This now approaches banana republic lawlessness.
WASHINGTON – It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the budget deal.“Embrace the suck,” House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi told fellow Democrats Thursday morning, a source told Politico.“We need to get this off the table so we can go forward,” she added. It’s a way of telling her colleagues the budget deal negotiated with Republicans is the best they can get. Democrats are fuming that the bipartisan budget deal doesn’t extend unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans. One of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Thursday it