’ve just come across a rather intriguing scene in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, in which the idealistic doctor, Tertius Lydgate, tries to reason with his wife, Rosamond. Rosamond, we learn quickly, is a big spender, and soon after she and Tertius have married she starts to rack up debts in his name, justifying the profligacy on the grounds that physicians enjoy an elevated position in society and should thus have indulgent lifestyles to match it. Think of it as an investment, she repeatedly suggests. We’re better than this! When, fearing bankruptcy, her husband finally gets around to objecting, Rosamond explodes, shouting, “I
A lot of novels from the eighteenth century depicting the lifestyles of that time involve a decent family that spends too much, then borrows beyond their means and who ultimately end up in debtor´s prison. Besides the shame of spending yourself into penury you faced the prospect of prison. I suspect that kept the people practicing sound budgeting in those days. Maybe that would be a cure for us. Bring back debtor´s prison and apply the law to congress as well.
Liberal activists across the nation have since 1994 demanded a “living wage,” which, depending on who is doing the defining, means the amount required to cover the basic needs of an individual or family. As with so many arguments made by the Left, the living wage appeal sounds reasonable. After all, why shouldn´t an employer pay employees at least enough for them to have decent housing, clothes, food, transportation and educational opportunities? But there is a big lie behind this seemingly reasonable argument, namely that the employer is responsible for providing a person´s basic needs, not the individual himself. The
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said this morning that we’re not safer from terrorism today than we were just one or two years ago. “I think terror is up worldwide, the statistics indicate that, the fatalities are way up. The numbers are way up,” she said this morning on CNN. “There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnatometers. The bomb maker is still alive. There are more groups that ever and there’s huge malevolence out there.” Her House counterpart, Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), said he “absolutely”
In the US we are used to abortion advocates claiming that the risk of elective abortion is relatively trivial, and major medical organizations denying any link between abortion and breast cancer. Now a powerful new study from China published last week by Yubei Huang and colleagues suggests otherwise. The article, a meta-analysis pooling 36 studies from 14 provinces in China, showed that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by 44% with one abortion, and 76% and 89% with two and three abortions. This new article is another example of the recent excellent scholarship on abortion in peer-reviewed journals coming out
Two employers who have religious objections to the contraception mandate recently had their cases granted cert by the Supreme Court. I gather that both supporters and opponents of the mandate think the Supreme Court will probably rule that corporations (at least closely held ones such as these two) are going to be granted an exemption from the mandate if they have clear religious objections. Social media was on fire over this when it happened, and I confess that I am struggling to see why. There was a lot of outraged talk about how corporations aren’t people, of course, but a lot
The audacity and mendacity with which the Obama administration defends its illegal contraception mandate is standard fare for politics. What´s distinctively Obamian in this fight is the insidious corporatism underlying it all. Look at the contraception mandate from almost any angle, and you see the corporatism. Sometimes it´s on the surface, and sometimes it´s implicit in the arguments. The contraception mandate is nakedly a huge subsidy to the industry that most firmly supported Obamacare: the drugmakers. The drug industry has spent more on lobbying under Obama than any other industry. Top lobbyists at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in 2009
American life gives individuals the chance to make two kinds of personal choices. Structural choices are the big decisions that configure the course of life and involve significant risk and responsibility -- when to marry, how to support oneself and dependents, where to live. They tend to be made after conscious consideration of alternatives. Functional choices are the everyday decisions such as what words to speak, how to behave towards others, what to eat, and wear. Functional choices tend to be made more or less unconsciously, according to tastes and preferences, without deep consideration of alternatives. Since the founding of America,
MILWAUKEE In 2011, thousands of government employees and others, enraged by Gov. Scott Walker’s determination to break the ruinously expensive and paralyzing grip that government workers’ unions had on Wisconsin, took over the capitol building in Madison. With chanting, screaming and singing supplemented by bullhorns, bagpipes and drum circles, their cacophony shook the building that the squalor of their occupation made malodorous. They spat on Republican legislators and urinated on Walker’s office door. They shouted, “This is what democracy looks like!” When they and Democratic legislators failed to prevent passage of Act 10, they tried to defeat — with a
What happens when you find out that the life you´ve lived could have been better — much better? That´s what a 60-year-old Japanese truck driver had to grapple with when he discovered he was switched at birth after being born to a rich family. The man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was raised by a single mother in a 100-square-foot apartment. A court ruled Tuesday that a social welfare organization that ran the hospital where the mix-up occurred must pay him about $317,000 for causing "mental distress by depriving him of an opportunity to gain a higher education."
Teddy Roosevelt busted Standard Oil. The Obama administration? It´s making the world safe from rapacious piano teachers. Every month, it seems, brings a new story of this presidency leveling the intimidating powers of the federal government against some law-abiding citizen. Now comes a terrifying tale of how the Federal Trade Commission, a governmental Goliath, crushes an average David—because it can. In March of this year, a small nonprofit in Cincinnati—the Music Teachers National Association—received a letter from the FTC. The agency was investigating whether the association was engaged in, uh, anticompetitive practices. This was bizarre, given that the MTNA has existed since
Chanukah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, starts this year on Wednesday evening, the only time it has ever just about coincided with Thanksgiving. Chanukah, which celebrates the triumph of the few over the many, of light over darkness, goes back over two millennia to a time when Judea was under the rule of the Seleucid Empire. In 198 BCE the Seleucid King Antiochus III ousted the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy V from Judea. Antiochus III was a tolerant ruler who wanted the Jews to practice their religion as they saw fit. His son and successor Antiochus IV, however, was a different story.
Back in September, The New York Times promoted Bill de Blasio´s mayoral candidacy with an editorial titled, "Don´t Fear the Squeegee Man." The editorial informed readers that crime wouldn´t get worse under de Blasio because "policing is far better than it used to be, thanks to innovations by Mayor David Dinkins." (Emphasis added -- the Times was not being sarcastic.) Under the policing "innovations" of Mayor Dinkins, the annual murder rate in New York City rose to an all-time high of 2,245 in Dinkins´ first year in office. After four years of hard work, the murder rate had dropped by about
Reprinted with permission from The Limbaugh Letter. So good to speak with a no-holds-barred enemy of the ruinous left, who — having once been the left’s “most important theorist” — knows from the inside out how critical it is to take the fight to them: (Snip) RUSH: Your latest book has an intriguing title, The Black Book of the American Left. If somebody walked up to you on the street and asked about it, how would you explain it? HOROWITZ: It’s kind of my life mission, I guess. It’s my collected writings. I’ve written about a million and a half
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
The hits to President Obama´s popularity, prompted by the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, are simply a natural fluctuation every commander-in-chief faces, Obama told interviewer Barbara Walters in an interview aired Friday. "If you remember, I´ve gone up and down pretty consistently throughout," Obama said in the ABC interview on Friday. "But the good thing about when you´re down is that usually you´ve got nowhere to go but up." "I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf," Obama said in the network´s exclusive. A CNN Poll of Polls complied
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
The Washington Examiner recently reported on an academic study on the 2008 presidential election entitled "The Palin Effect" that examined the effect of then Gov. Palin on the John McCain campaign. Its conclusions run counter to conventional wisdom. The cliché, advanced by the media and the now infamous HBO TV show "Game Change," was that Palin helped to cost McCain the election because of her "controversial" personality. In fact, typical of most vice presidential running mates, Palin had a marginal but largely positive effect on McCain´s standing with the voters. She certainly did not drive away independents and moderates, who along
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
AUBURN, Ala. — In a season of miracles for Auburn, all it has taken is one mistake to give the Tigers life. No. 1 Alabama made just enough of them Saturday to change the course of history. With no time left on the clock, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama in the back of the end zone, ran it out down the left sideline and went 109 yards untouched to beat the Crimson Tide, 34-28.
He´s a proud family man already, but President Barack Obama will turn to his children when it comes to life after the White House. Sasha Obama could be the deciding factor in whether the first family stay in Washington once he leaves office in three years. In a taped interview with ABC News, the President said his now 12-year-old daughter ´will have a big vote in where we are´ because she will be a sophomore in high school. When Obama leaves office in January 2017 after two terms, eldest daughter Malia could be off in college. Both girls attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School
Sen. John McCain is starting to sound like a Tea Party “wacko bird.” In a new fundraising letter for the Republican National Committee released Friday, McCain lashed out at “Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Washington liberals,” who he claimed are destroying the United States. Liberals, he warned, “have taken us down a dark and dangerous path defined by record levels of debt, ever-expanding government, and a lead-from-behind defense strategy. There´s not much time left to turn things around.” McCain’s name carries a lot of weight in fundraising because he was the 2008 GOP nominee and is a leading voice of
President Obama took part in Small Business Saturday by heading over to Politics and Prose, a locally-owned bookstore in Washington, D.C. Wearing a brown leather coat and tan sweater, the president mingled with customers and wished them happy holidays. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who occasionally left his side to shop as he chatted with others. At the register, when asked what books he purchased, Obama said, “it is a long list ... books for every age group, from 5 to 52.” In all, Obama purchased 21 titles, including, “All That Is” by James Salter; “Collision Low Crossers:
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.
The time has come to end presidential term limits, because continuing the restrictions on how long one can serve in the country´s highest office is bad for the United States, a university professor argued this week. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position. As background, here´s an excerpt from the amendment, ratified in
It only took five years for the American media to get tired of President Obama´s spoon-fed propaganda -- well, at least one aspect of it. Earlier this month, 38 news organizations, including the Associated Press, ABC News, The Washington Post, and Reuters demanded more photojournalist access to the president. The White House responded with what one reporter described as a middle finger. Now some news organizations are responding by formalizing policies not to publish White House-distributed photographs. Last week the USA Today announced that it will not use “handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very