Category Archives: National Columnist

State of the world while Obama fiddles …

State of the world, Year Eight of Barack Obama: (1) In the South China Sea, on a speck of land of disputed sovereignty far from its borders, China has just installed anti-aircraft batteries and stationed fighter jets. This after China landed planes on an artificial island it created on another disputed island chain (the Spratlys,… Continue Reading

The global allure of Palmetto politics

Americans aren’t the only people who are fascinated by South Carolina politics and the presidential primary process. During the past several days, including Saturday’s Republican primary and Tuesday night’s Democratic town hall, a variety of foreign dignitaries have visited the state to catch the spectacle. Ahem, I mean to observe the political process. On Saturday,… Continue Reading

Trump may win GOP nomination, without a majority of voters

On Thursday, Donald Trump called Pope Francis a “pawn” of the Mexican government and accused the leader of the world’s Catholics of “disgraceful” rhetoric. On Friday, he approvingly retold an apocryphal story about a U.S. general ordering Muslims shot with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. On Saturday morning, he wondered on Twitter whether President Obama… Continue Reading

A year’s worth of survival meals for $300?

Last week, I shared some thoughts on using couponing strategies for “prepping” – storing food, water and supplies to prepare for an unexpected emergency. One of my readers sent an interesting follow-up question: “Dear Jill, Have you seen the recipe for a survival soup for preparing for disasters? I’ve seen this recipe online on quite… Continue Reading

Column: Trump relishes wrecking Republicans

Lyndon Johnson simply was exasperated. Barack Obama’s mischief was methodical. Four days before the 1966 congressional elections, Johnson, asked about criticism from Richard Nixon, testily responded: “I do not want to get into a debate … with a chronic campaigner like Mr. Nixon.” Johnson’s disparagement endeared Nixon to Republican voters, thereby propelling him toward the… Continue Reading

Column: Clash of titans: Pope vs. Trump

sThe popular wisdom that opposites attract is true in both romance and politics. But rarely do adages prove so profoundly — and absurdly — true as during the recent, media-created dialogue between Pope Francis and Donald Trump. Set aside for a moment that this mini-uproar, spawned by a reporter’s question and poached by scandalmongers, has… Continue Reading

Why the Democratic establishment fears Bernie Sanders

Why does the Democratic establishment so dislike Bernie Sanders? Consider this statistic: Hillary Clinton has raised more than $26 million for the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties so far this campaign. And Sanders? $1,000. That’s no typo. Clinton is doing more to boost the party’s 2016 prospects than Sanders by a proportion of… Continue Reading

It’s up to us to win one for Nino in November

Let’s understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin (“Nino”) Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony — brazenly, embarrassingly so. In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court vacancy… Continue Reading

Donald Trump makes me miss George W. Bush

I had a twinge of nostalgia watching George W. Bush campaign for his little brother in South Carolina Monday night. He was earthy. He recalled a previous visit to a South Carolina breakfast spot, where an animal-rights demonstrator dressed as a pig interrupted Bush’s meal by dumping a “steaming pile of manure” in the parking… Continue Reading

High court vacancy — What would Scalia do?

As Republican presidential candidates invoke Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy, all insisting that his suddenly vacant seat shouldn’t be filled until a new president is in place, it is helpful to ask: What would Scalia do? First, Scalia  would read the law and, without much chin-stroking, recommend the obvious intent of Article II, Section… Continue Reading

Column: A South Carolina primer-y

Out on the hustings, people often ask me: “Can you explain South Carolina?” I just shake my head. It’s complicated, I say. The simple answer, eternal and everlasting, is anti-secessionist James Petigru’s remark: “South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” For those keeping an eye on the… Continue Reading

Column: The progressives’ itch to regulate speech

Bernie Sanders, greedy for power to punish people he considers greedy, has occasioned 2016’s best joke (reported in Bloomberg Businessweek): “In the Bernie Sanders drinking game, every time he mentions a free government program, you drink someone else’s beer.” But neither Sanders’ nor Hillary Clinton’s hostility to the First Amendment is amusing.      … Continue Reading

Sanders and Trump: Magic sells

The New Hampshire results have solidified the reigning cliche that the 2016 campaign is an anti-establishment revolt of both the left and the right. Largely overlooked, however, is the role played in setting the national mood by the seven-year legacy of the Obama presidency. Yes, you hear constant denunciations of institutions, parties, leaders, donors, lobbyists,… Continue Reading

Readers share stock-up savings tips

Last week, I shared the story of a reader who needed help explaining why stocking up on multiple items is a good idea, as her husband wasn’t convinced that it would save them money. My readers have been sharing their own thoughts on stocking up and saving: “Dear Jill, I read with interest the letter… Continue Reading

Column: The utter nastiness of Ted Cruz

When Ted Cruz last month mocked Donald Trump’s “New York values,” it wasn’t entirely clear what he was implying. Last week, we got a clue: For Cruz, “New York” is another way of saying “Jewish.” At an event in New Hampshire, Cruz, the Republican Iowa caucus winner, was asked about campaign money he and his… Continue Reading

Column: In Iowa, signs of civil health

When Huck Finn asked Tom Sawyer what a Moslem is, Tom said a Moslem is someone who is not a Presbyterian, which is true, but not the whole truth. Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian (“I drink my little wine … and have my little cracker”), which apparently was not good enough for enough… Continue Reading

The GOP establishment strikes back in Iowa

The establishment struck back. The headlines will show that Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, but the more significant message out of Iowa was that Marco Rubio was neck-and-neck with Donald Trump for second place and within a few points of the lead: It showed that mainstream Republicans are, at long last, pushing themselves back… Continue Reading

Column: Trump shows his true colors once again

If you ask Donald Trump fans what they like about him, there’s an excellent chance they’ll say, “Because he’s not politically correct.” But this is only true if you misunderstand the meaning of political correctness, as Trump himself apparently does. Popularized in the ‘90s to mean overcorrection in language and policies to avoid offending any… Continue Reading

Column: Smart tax reform would ignite growth

Woodrow Wilson, who enjoyed moralizing about the mundane, called paying taxes a “glorious privilege.” In 1865, when there was a Civil War income tax, one taxpayer shared this sensibility, sort of. Mark Twain said that his tax bill of $36.82 (including a $3.12 fine for filing late) made him feel “important” because the government was… Continue Reading

The three-cornered fight for the soul of the GOP

It’s hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist Bernie Sanders, whatever his current momentum, winning the Democratic nomination remains… Continue Reading

No governor, the failure in Flint is yours

Jeb Bush explained Sunday why he still thinks Rick Snyder has been “a great governor for Michigan” even after the mass lead poisoning because of tainted tap water in Flint. The disgrace over Flint’s water, the Republican presidential prospect told ABC’s “This Week,” “is related to the fact that we’ve created this complex, no-responsibility regulatory… Continue Reading

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