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Air Force has dug into the equivalent of trench warfare

From the Right / George Will /

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- It is said that America's armed forces have been stressed by 16 years of constant warfare, the longest such in the nation's history. For the Air Force, however, the high tempo of combat operations began 26 years ago, with enforcement of the no-fly zone in Iraq after Desert Storm. With an acute pilot shortage, particularly in ...Read more

Bet your bottom dollar that, tomorrow, Congress won't act on its war responsibilities

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Predictably and sensibly, a three-judge panel of the nation's second-most important court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, recently dismissed, unanimously, a lawsuit brought by a Yemeni man, two of whose relatives were collateral fatalities in a 2012 U.S. drone attack that killed three terrorists. The suit asked the...Read more

Fixing the 'rotting carcass' tax code

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Cynics are said to be people who are prematurely disappointed about the future. Such dyspepsia is encouraged by watching Republicans struggle to move on from the dog's breakfast they have made of health care reform to the mare's nest of tax reform. Concerning which, House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose preternatural optimism makes ...Read more

A measure to rein in Medicaid's 'mission gallop'

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Were it not for the provision that Pat Toomey, the Pennsylvania Republican, put into the Senate's proposed health care reform, this legislation would be moderately important but hardly momentous. Toomey's provision, however, makes it this century's most significant domestic policy reform.

It required tenacity by Toomey to insert ...Read more

The sequence to success

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The Bronx, the only one of New York City's five boroughs that is on the American mainland, once had a sociological as well as geographical distinction. In the 1930s it was called, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted, "the city without a slum." It was "the one place in the whole of the nation where commercial housing was built during ...Read more

The scars of our nation's violent birth

From the Right / George Will /

PHILADELPHIA -- Some American history museums belabor visitors with this message: You shall know the truth and it shall make you feel ashamed of, but oh-so-superior to, your wretched ancestors. The new Museum of the American Revolution is better than that. Located near Independence Hall, it celebrates the luminous ideas affirmed there 241 Julys ...Read more

'Repeal and replace'? Try 'tweak and move on.'

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Two Junes ago, when the Supreme Court upheld, 6-3, a challenged provision of the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, vented: "Congress wrote key parts of the Act behind closed doors. ... Congress passed much of the Act using a complicated budgetary procedure known as 'reconciliation,' which ...Read more

Baseball's pace of play needs some juice

From the Right / George Will /

Omaha, Nebraska -- From Little League on up, players emulate major leaguers, so Major League Baseball's pace-of-play problem is trickling down. Four innings into a recent College World Series game here, just seven hits and three runs had consumed 96 minutes. During a coach's visit to the pitcher's mound, the other team's three base runners ...Read more

Let us plunge toward our fast-unfolding future

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In 1859, when Manhattan still had many farms, near the Battery on the island's southern tip The Great American Tea Company was launched. It grew, and outgrew its name, becoming in 1870 The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, which in 1912 begat the first A&P Economy Store, a semi-modern grocery store.

By 1920, there were 4,500 ...Read more

The demolition of a 1931 law would make building much cheaper

From the Right / George Will /

"You really ought to give Iowa a try.

Provided you are contrary."

-- "Iowa Stubborn," from Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man"

WASHINGTON -- "Contrary" does not quite capture Steve King's astringency. The Iowa native and conservative congressman was born, appropriately, in Storm Lake, and carries turbulence with him. He also carries experience ...Read more

Nurturing our capacity for regeneration

From the Right / George Will /

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Sparkling in the sunlight that inspired 19th-century romantic painters of the Hudson River School, Sing Sing prison's razor wire, through which inmates can see the flowing river, is almost pretty. Almost. Rain or shine, however, a fog of regret permeates any maximum-security prison. But 37 men -- almost all minorities; mostly ...Read more

Get the shovels in the ground

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Sensing that his Scottish enemies had blundered at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, Oliver Cromwell said, "The Lord hath delivered them into our hands." Philip K. Howard, were he the exulting type, could rejoice that some of his adversaries have taken a stand on indefensible terrain. Because the inaccurately named Center for American ...Read more

Engineering without a license

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Beginning this week, Washington hopes that infrastructure, which is a product of civil engineering, will be much discussed. But if you find yourself in Oregon, keep your opinions to yourself, lest you get fined $500 for practicing engineering without a license. This happened to Mats Jarlstrom as a result of events that would be ...Read more

Public broadcasting: superfluous yet seemingly immortal

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- As changing technologies and preferences make government-funded broadcasting increasingly preposterous, such broadcasting actually becomes useful by illustrating two dismal facts. One is the immortality of entitlements that especially benefit those among society's articulate upper reaches who feel entitled. The other fact is how ...Read more

Buckley captained conservatism before it was hijacked

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In 1950, the year before William F. Buckley burst into the national conversation, the literary critic Lionel Trilling revealed why the nation was ripe for Buckley's high-spirited romp through its political and cultural controversies. Liberalism, Trilling declared, was "not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition"...Read more

How to restore American self-reliance

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- When in the Senate chamber, Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, sits by choice at the desk used by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan. New York's scholar-senator would have recognized that Sasse has published a book of political philosophy in the form of a guide to parenting.

Moynihan understood that politics is downstream from ...Read more

A portentous election in the Peach State

From the Right / George Will /

ATLANTA -- By the time Georgia's 6th District votes in the June 20 special congressional election, $40 million -- perhaps more than $130 per ballot -- will have been spent to pick one-435th of one-half of one of the three branches of one of America's governments. This is an expensive funeral for Tip O'Neill's incessantly quoted and increasingly ...Read more

Federal power spins its ever-growing web

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- A blind spider creeping through America's judicial thicket might be heading to the Supreme Court, which will have to decide if the contentment or even the survival of the Bone Cave Harvestman spider species, which lives only in two central Texas counties, is any of the federal government's business. If it is, what isn't?

The U.S. ...Read more

'Baumol's disease' explains flagging productivity

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Although William J. Baumol, who recently died at 95, was not widely known beyond the ranks of economists, all Americans are living with, and policymakers are struggling with, "Baumol's disease." It is one reason brisk economic growth is becoming more elusive as it becomes more urgent. And it is a disease particularly pertinent to ...Read more

Culture thrives when it's all shook up

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In July 1954, a 19-year-old Memphis truck driver recorded at Sun Studio the song "That's All Right." When a local disc jockey promised to play it, the truck driver tuned his parents' radio to the station and went to a movie. His mother pulled him from the theater because the DJ was playing the record repeatedly and wanted to ...Read more

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