WASHINGTON -- Because of the investigation led by three University of South Florida researchers, and because of exemplary journalism by the Tampa Bay Times, we now have an intensely discomforting but welcome enrichment of American literature. It requires artistry to write beautifully about children suffering at the hands of evil men, and from ...Read more
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan -- It is difficult to discourage and impossible to manage Justin Amash because he, unusual among politicians, does not want much and wants nothing inordinately. He would like to win a sixth term as congressman from this culturally distinctive slice of the Midwest. He does not, however, want it enough to remain in today's ...Read more
CHICAGO -- Given its surplus of violence and scarcity of resources, Chicago surely has bigger things to worry about than the menace, as the city sees it, of Laura Pekarik's cupcakes. Herewith redundant evidence of regulatory government's unsleeping solicitousness for the strong.
Pekarik, a feisty 33-year-old single mother and embodiment of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Regimes, however intellectually disreputable, rarely are unable to attract intellectuals eager to rationalize the regimes' behavior. America's current administration has "national conservatives." They advocate unprecedented expansion of government in order to purge America of excessive respect for market forces, and to affirm ...Read more
"It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men." -- Eric Hoffer
WASHINGTON -- It is 1,218 miles from the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater in Panama City Beach, Florida., to the ...Read more
Winnow: verb. To expose (grain or other substances) to the wind or to a current of air so that the lighter particles (as chaff or other refuse matter) are separated or blown away. -- Oxford English Dictionary
WASHINGTON -- It is time to dust off this marvelously appropriate verb for its quadrennial use to describe the thinning of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Watching Democratic presidential aspirants is like watching, a century ago, the 1919 World Series, when discerning spectators thought: Some of the White Sox are trying to lose. Michael Boskin, chairman of President George H.W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers and currently at Stanford's Hoover Institution, pays the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Democratic presidential circus pitches its tent in Detroit this week. It will be especially entertaining if the presidential aspirants are asked some questions like these:
For Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders especially, but others, too: Three of Barack Obama's few large achievements were the 12-nation Trans-Pacific ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Acting on the principle "Why put it off until tomorrow when you can do the wrong thing today?" the House of Representatives last week voted to repeal a tax that is not scheduled to take effect until 2022. The vote against the "Cadillac tax" was 419-6, a reminder that "bipartisanship" often is the political class coming together to ...Read more
SAN FRANCISCO -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission St. illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a well-established and widely publicized ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Thirty months after setting the goal of sending a mission 239,000 miles to the moon, and returning safely, President John Kennedy cited a story the Irish author Frank O'Connor told about his boyhood. Facing the challenge of a high wall, O'Connor and his playmates tossed their caps over it. Said Kennedy, "They had no choice but to ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With a disgust commensurate with the fact, Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat, says that during 40% of his 10 Senate years the government has been run on "continuing resolutions." Congress passes these in order to spare itself the torture of performing its primary function, which is to set national priorities. Bennet is too ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If California Sen. Kamala Harris is elected president in 2020 and reelected in 2024, by the time she leaves office 114 months from now she might have a coherent answer to the question of whether Americans should be forbidden to have what 217 million of them currently have: private health insurance. Her 22 weeks of contradictory ...Read more
EDITORS -- This column is intended to be published on Thursday, July 4, and is being sent a day early to help you plan your holiday pages.
WASHINGTON -- On this 243rd anniversary of the beginning of the best thing that ever happened -- "The Great Republic" was Winston Churchill's tribute -- many of today's most interesting arguments about ...Read more
"Wide open and unguarded stand our gates,
And through them presses a wild motley throng ...
O Liberty, white Goddess! is it well
To leave the gates unguarded?"
-- Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1892)
WASHINGTON -- If you think we have reached peak stupidity -- that America's per-capita quantity has never been higher -- there is solace, of sorts, in...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The doctrine that court precedents should have momentum for respect -- the predictability of settled law gives citizens due notice of what is required or proscribed -- is called stare decisis. This Latin translates as: "To stand by things decided." The translation is not: "If a precedent was produced by bad reasoning and has ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- That the Democrats' two evenings of dueling oratory snippets this week are called "debates" validates Finley Peter Dunne's prediction that "when we Americans are through with the English language, it will look as if it had been run over by a musical comedy." Already a linguistic casualty of the campaign is the noun "socialism." So,...Read more
"You Americans do not rear children, you incite them; you give them food and shelter and applause."
-- Randall Jarrell, "Pictures from an Institution"
WASHINGTON -- Oberlin College has an admirable liberal past and a contemptible progressive present that will devalue its degrees far into the future. This is condign punishment for the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "It is a great advantage to a president," said the 30th of them, "and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man." Or, Calvin Coolidge would say today, a great woman. While today's incumbent advertises himself as an "extremely stable genius" and those who would replace him promise national ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Randolph Bourne (1886-1918) said, "War is the health of the state." James Madison said, "War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement," and the executive almost is the American state, Congress now being more theatrical than actual. Advocates of an ever-larger state, remembering Franklin Roosevelt's first ...Read more