National Columnist

Droning about the end of war

May 30, 2013

It’s good to know that the war on terror is finally over. It was all so ugly, what with the beheadings and bombings. Wait. Weren’t we just talking about the IRS targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department secretly seizing reporters’ phone records? Weren’t we just talking about how no effort was made to rescue Read More

The bullying pulpit

May 29, 2013

We have truly entered the world of “Alice in Wonderland” when the CEO of a company that pays $16 million a day in taxes is hauled up before a Congressional subcommittee to be denounced on nationwide television for not paying more. Apple CEO Tim Cook was denounced for contributing to “a worrisome federal deficit,” according Read More

Ending corruption would help Washington, D.C.’s, case for local control

One of many exciting things about living and working in the capital is that you never know just what the District of Columbia government will come up with next. A month ago, D.C. officials declared that they were prepared to end the city’s tradition of many-hued cabs by requiring that all taxis be painted red Read More

Dark details behind family portraits

May 28, 2013

Women’s reproductive rights have enjoyed a half-century or so of well-defined proponents and opponents, but the recently flourishing fertility industry, from egg harvesting to surrogacy, has produced fresh and surprising alliances among former foes. Feminists, traditionalists, Catholics, evangelicals, ethicists and atheists alike have united to combat what many convincingly view as the exploitation and commodification Read More

The other IRS scandal

May 24, 2013

Let us stipulate that now might not be the best time — with IRS officials exposed for abusing power, caught in self-serving deceptions, invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination — to dramatically expand the authority and size of their agency. But this is what Obamacare requires. Thousands of new IRS agents will implement 40-odd provisions Read More

Where money talks

On Thursday, senators held a confirmation hearing for President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of commerce: a billionaire who benefits from offshore tax havens, whose family owned a failed savings and loan, and who is accused by unions of mistreating workers. Turns out the wealthy didn’t lose the 2012 election; rather, the Republican rich lost Read More

Rigid ideology no substitute for generosity

While listening to an NPR report out of Moore, Okla., this week, I was genuinely shocked. Not by the scale of the devastation or the tenacity of people who have grown stoically accustomed to the damage tornadoes can do but by a political sentiment that, in almost any other era, would not have been surprising Read More

There’s a fly in my soup

“Horrible customer service.” That’s what the newly fired IRS commissioner averred was the agency’s only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment. In such grim proceedings one should be grateful for unintended humor. Horrible customer service is when every patron in a restaurant finds a fly in his soup. But when the Read More

An Alabama senator’s lost cause

May 22, 2013

Not since George Wallace, perhaps, has an Alabamian taken as passionate a stand for a lost cause as the one Jeff Sessions is taking now. Bipartisan immigration legislation is making its way inexorably through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although its ultimate fate is unclear, its passage by the committee is assured, and conservatives on the Read More

The loss of trust

May 17, 2013

Leaving aside the seriousness of lawlessness, and the corruption of our civic culture by the professionally pious, this past week has been amusing. There was the spectacle of advocates of an ever-larger regulatory government expressing shock about such government’s large capacity for misbehavior. And, entertainingly, the answer to the question “Will Barack Obama’s scandals derail Read More

The heavy hand of the U.S. government

So, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has investigated the IRS investigation of conservative groups. And the FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the IRS. And the State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the Accountability Review Board that investigated the administration’s response to the Benghazi terror attack. And House committees including Read More

Not such strange bedfellows

May 15, 2013

Breaking news: Conservative organizations suddenly have found common cause with one of their favorite objects of contempt — the benighted Mainstream Media. Or as the tea party queen and former Alaska governor likes to put it, the “lamestream media.” In a twist of irony, the two groups have coalesced around a common enemy: the U.S. Read More

The IRS needs an audit

May 14, 2013

Suppose that the Environmental Protection Agency were to admit offhandedly that the fluoridation of water had only modest communist mind-control effects. Or the United Nations were to concede it has been running fleets of black helicopters over American cities, but only in the course of conducting extensive good will tours. The IRS has managed a Read More

Dishonest differences about Libya

There can be honest differences of opinion on many subjects. But there can also be dishonest differences. Last week’s testimony under oath about events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 makes painfully clear that what the Obama administration told the American people about those events were lies out of whole cloth. What we were told Read More

Benghazi redacted

May 10, 2013

Mistakes were made. This, we are supposed to accept, is the conclusion to be drawn about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, despite congressional testimony Wednesday suggesting that significant efforts were made to camouflage those mistakes. As Democrats and Republicans alike know all too well: It’s always the cover-up. Yet in this case, where so Read More

The president’s pink line over Damascus

You know you’re in trouble when you can’t even get your walk-back story straight. Stung by the worldwide derision that met President Obama’s fudging and fumbling of his chemical-weapons red line in Syria, the White House leaked to The New York Times that Obama’s initial statement had been unprepared, unscripted and therefore unserious. The next Read More

GOP star witness told riveting tale

They summoned a whistle-blower to Capitol Hill, but instead they got a virtuoso storyteller. Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat in Libya the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was to be the star witness for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the man leading the probe of the Obama administration’s handling Read More

Words that replace thought

May 8, 2013

If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as Read More

Red card this term

May 3, 2013

President Obama said once again last week that Syria’s “use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer.” The president had played this game many times before. “I have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer,” he said in March, in one of his administration’s many repetitions of the term. But what Read More

Where do we draw the line on childhood?

They lost me at the word “women.” As so often happens with contemporary debate, arguments being proffered in support of allowing teenagers as young as 15 (and possibly younger) to buy the “morning-after pill” without adult supervision are false on their premise. Here’s an experiment to demonstrate. Question 1: Do you think that women should Read More

The end of Big Mo for Obama

Fate is fickle, power cyclical, and nothing is new under the sun. Especially in Washington, where after every election the losing party is sagely instructed to confess sin, rend garments and rethink its principles lest it go the way of the Whigs. And where the victor is hailed as the new Caesar, facing an open Read More

The art of the impossible

May 2, 2013

Someone called politics “the art of the possible.” But, in the era of the modern welfare state, politics is largely the art of the impossible. Those people morbid enough to keep track of politicians’ promises may remember how Barack Obama said that ObamaCare would lower medical costs — and lots of people bought it. But Read More

Not much to chew on: A lack of appetite for Sen. Mike Lee’s conservatism

April 24, 2013

Whoever thinks there’s no such thing as a free lunch has not been to the Heritage Foundation. After Sen. Mike Lee’s speech to the conservative think tank Monday, his listeners didn’t rush to the front of the room, where the Utah Republican was greeting well-wishers, but to the back to get in line for sandwiches, Read More

Racial differences have nothing to do with genes or discrimination

During decades of watching both collegiate and professional football, I have seen hundreds of touchdowns scored by black players — but not one extra point kicked by a black player. Is this because blacks are genetically incapable of kicking a football or because racists won’t let blacks kick a football? Most of us would consider Read More

Ideological impairment over Islam

April 23, 2013

In 2009, Ruslan Tsarni and his nephew Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a bitter argument over the implications of their faith. Tsarnaev announced he had chosen “God’s business” over work or school. “I was shocked when I heard his words, his phrases, when every other word he starts sticking in words of God,” says Tsarni. “There is Read More

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