National Columnist

High cost of liberalism: income inequality

April 25, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the last in a three part series entitled “High cost of liberalism.” Income inequality has long been one of the liberals’ favorite issues. So there is nothing surprising about its being pushed hard this election year. If nothing else, it is a much-needed distraction from the disasters of ObamaCare and the Read More

Overseas, President Obama projects a whole lot of nothing

President Obama landed in Japan on Wednesday night and delivered an important message on behalf of the American people. “That’s some good sushi right there,” he said. Indeed it was. The president had just dined at Sukiyabashi Jiro, where the Michelin three-star chef, octogenarian sushi master Jiro Ono, was featured in the documentary “Jiro Dreams Read More

Republicans kiss votes from women goodbye

April 11, 2014

This was not the way Republican leaders had planned to observe Equal Pay Day. On the eve of Tuesday’s commemoration — the day symbolizing how far into 2014 women must work to catch up to the wages men earned in 2013 — a small newspaper in Louisiana, The Ouachita Citizen — reported that its congressman, Read More

Anticipating November, Democrats act desperately

April 4, 2014

H.L. Mencken gets a workout in election years when voters are reminded by pundits of the curmudgeon’s observation that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Mean. But true? If you’re a Democratic strategist, this seems to be the motto operandi. If you’re a Republican strategist, you’re thinking: Better dumb Read More

Latest Benghazi hearing is another Republican flop

House Republicans on Wednesday held Benghazi hearing number 1,372,569, give or take, and this time they were determined to find the proof that had eluded them in the previous 1,372,568: that Obama administration officials had put politics before national security. Alas for the accusers, this hearing went the way of the others. Lawmakers had another Read More

Obama vs. Putin: The mismatch

March 28, 2014

“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.” — Barack Obama, March 24 Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years Read More

Political skills for divine purposes

When a pope meets a president — and the Vicar of Christ gets pulled into political coverage — trivialization ensues. As a reporter, I covered the St. Louis meeting between Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton in January 1999, not long after Clinton admitted to “inappropriate, intimate contact” with Monica Lewinsky. There was Read More

America’s own mystery flight

March 21, 2014

It took off with a clear destination but then veered off course and disappeared. Several countries joined the search for answers and offered conflicting theories about what went wrong. I speak, of course, of the U.S. attempt to keep Vladimir Putin from taking Crimea. Any resemblance between Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian province and the Read More

A half-century in denial

Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years. Ryan spoke of a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in Read More

The Ukranian invasion will be catered

Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that “we went to a knife fight with a baguette.” That was three months ago. Life overtakes parody. During the Ukrainian prime minister’s visit to Read More

How to stop — or slow — Putin

March 14, 2014

The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama’s Ukraine policy by saying, “What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?” Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing. The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious Read More

Midterms an Obamacare referendum? Not so fast.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), the man in charge of House Republicans’ 2014 campaign, told a roomful of reporters at the National Press Club that they shouldn’t read much into that day’s special election in Florida to fill the seat of the late GOP congressman Bill Young. “Whether we win it or Read More

Obama’s inaction enables Putin’s grab for Ukraine

March 7, 2014

Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he’s got three more years of luck to come. He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it’s not in Russia’s interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it’s a sign of weakness. Really? Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Read More

Putin’s gambit on a Ukrainian chessboard

February 28, 2014

Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century.” Putin’s mission is restoration. First, restore traditional Russian Read More

The myth of ‘settled science’

February 21, 2014

I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years Read More

Despite divisiveness, immigration reform matters

February 14, 2014

Distilled to their discouraging essence, Republicans’ reasons for retreating from immigration reform reflect waning confidence in American culture and in the political mission only Republicans can perform — restoring America’s economic vigor. Without this, the nation will have a dismal future only Democrats can relish: government growing in order to allocate scarce opportunity. Many Republicans Read More

The health care myths we all live by

February 7, 2014

Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It’s already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you’d expect given the extravagant — and incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants. In fact, they are either useless or harmful, conclude the editors Read More

Lessons of Benghazi revealed in Senate Intelligence Committee report

January 31, 2014

The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Jan. 15 by the Senate Intelligence Committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there. Administration officials did not orchestrate any kind of attempt, politically motivated or otherwise, to deceive the American people. In their public statements, including the infamous talking points, they relied Read More

How to fight academic bigotry

January 10, 2014

For decades, the American Studies Association has labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It’s now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians. Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East, a fiercely independent Read More

Stop the bailout — now

January 3, 2014

First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014. Make it one line long: “Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act are hereby repealed.” End of bill. End of bailout. End of story. Why do we need it? On Dec. 18, the chairman of the Read More

A dazzling bright future dawns in New Jersey

December 27, 2013

PRINCETON, N.J.— In a scientific complex on 88 bucolic acres near here, some astonishingly talented people are advancing a decades-long project to create a sun on Earth. When — not if; when — decades hence they and collaborators around the world succeed, their achievement will be more transformative of human life than any prior scientific Read More

Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

In some parts of the world, Herod’s massacre of the innocents is a living tradition. On Christmas Day in Iraq, 37 people were killed in bomb attacks in Christian districts of Baghdad. Radical Islamists mark — and stain — the season with brutality and intolerance. The violence, of course, is not restricted by the calendar. Read More

Story of the year: Realizing how radical Obamacare is

December 20, 2013

The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is — which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place. Obamacare Read More

Congress’s drag on the economy

It is tantalizing to wonder, as Ben Bernanke did Wednesday afternoon, how much better the economy would be today, and how many millions more would have jobs, if Congress hadn’t done so much over the past few years to drag down growth. Bernanke was giving his last news conference as Fed chairman, and it became Read More

Discovering President Obama the oblivious

December 13, 2013

In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.” An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender Read More

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