Commentary: Steve Bannon Deserves His Day in the Court of Public Opinion

If Steve Bannon can be indicted for “contempt of Congress,” and the approval rate for Congress at about 21 percent, the Biden Justice Department should probably just go ahead and indict the other 270 million Americans who also have contempt for Congress. The specious indictment of our friend Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress is just another demonstration that Democrats consider the process to be part of the punishment and are using it to harass and bankrupt another conservative enemy.

Bannon, to his credit, is having none of it and has decided to fight back in the court of public opinion as well as in the court of law.

Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein of POLITICO report the Justice Department on Sunday night accused Steve Bannon’s defense team of lodging “frivolous” legal complaints in order to cause a public dust-up with prosecutors as he battles criminal charges for attempting to thwart the House’s Jan. 6 select committee.

Read More

Commentary: Harvard’s ‘Lawfare’ Programs Are an Omen of Elections Decided Not at Polls — But in Court

Before the Donald Trump-inspired challenges of the 2020 presidential election, Democrats and liberals alleged fraud and formally contested the results of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 Republican-won presidential elections. Those earlier challenges spurred the creation of a network of election litigators on the left — what J. Christian Adams, a conservative ex-Justice Department attorney pitted against them, calls a “linear build-out” of “some 30 groups” responsible for a lot of sudden changes in election law last year amid the pandemic.

For the closely fought 2020 presidential election, 29 largely Democrat-controlled states and the District of Columbia loosened voting laws, most expanding access to mail voting, according to the liberal Brennan Center for Justice. In response, after former President Trump’s efforts to contest his narrow loss, 19 largely conservative states tightened their voting laws, the Brennan Center reports. The latest changes have provoked a wave of litigation, overwhelmingly from the left.

Read More

Commentary: The Twin Pillars of Biden’s Failure

Everything has gone so terribly wrong for the Biden Administration, and in the ways that were widely predicted, that it is hard to believe Joe Biden could be perceived as a successful or at least potentially successful president if only he had avoided being such a tool of the Democratic extreme Left. On the afternoon of his inauguration, he killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and curtailed fracking and offshore oil and gas exploration, and ordered the end of construction of the southern border wall. The consequences have been over 200,000 illegal migrants entering the United States across the southern border most months and the rise in the price of gasoline from approximately $2 a gallon to $5 a gallon across the country.         

As practically everyone outside his immediate entourage saw and predicted, these were disastrous errors. The excuse regularly given in the case of the wall was that Biden had inherited a “broken” immigration policy. In support of this outrageous falsehood, all that could be offered was the tear-jerking fabrication about children being separated from their parents and confined to cages that reminded that eminent authority on modern European history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of “Auschwitz.” 

Read More

Commentary: The Path to ‘Racial Justice’ Runs Squarely Through Fixing Failed Schools

The Rittenhouse verdict has unleashed a torrent of stupidity and racist rhetoric from commentators across the country. The usual race peddlers seem to have kicked into high gear—even though everyone involved was a person of pallor.

But for me it only got my blood boiling. Let me explain.

In the course of my management consulting, I’ve been to some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.

Read More

Commentary: Countering China’s Grand Strategy

Policeman holding a rifle - in uniform

It has been clear for some time that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) seeks to displace the United States not only as a regional but also as a global hegemonic power. Indeed, we are now in the midst of a new “cold war,” not unlike its predecessor that pitted the United States against the Soviet Union. In the service of its goals, Beijing has pursued a coherent grand strategy. Although China seems to be effectively executing its grand strategy, its success is not foreordained. But countering it must be the strategic priority of the United States.

“Strategy” describes the employment of limited means to achieve the goals of national policy. In general, strategy provides a conceptual link between national ends and scarce resources, both the transformation of those resources into means during peacetime and the application of those means during war.

In the words of Edward Mead Earle:

strategy is the art of controlling and utilizing the resources of a nation—or a coalition of nations—including its armed forces, to the end that its vital interests shall be effectively promoted and secured against enemies, actual, potential, or merely presumed. The highest type of strategy—sometimes called grand strategy—is that which so integrates the policies and armaments of the nation that resort to war is either rendered unnecessary or is undertaken with the maximum chance of victory. (emphasis added)

Read More

Commentary: Green Technologies Have a Glaring Problem of Scale

In the context of the massive attention paid to climate change, nations around the world have committed to substantially reducing and even eliminating their carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving these goals relies on several ‘green’ technologies that would form the basis of a future energy system. As envisioned, mass deployment of these technologies will encounter fundamental physical limits that call into question their ability to function as replacements for their equivalents in the current energy system. By placing firm targets, nations around the world have committed to terminating their carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 to offer confidence that a better world is achievable if only society implements the right policies and employs the correct technologies. This assumption is inaccurate, based on a view that is at odds with nature.

Due to unavoidable physical constraints, future green technologies offer little promise for achieving economies of scale. Many of the improvements suggested to improve their performance remain marginal and frequently come with the environmental costs of additional embedded energy requirements, extensive land use and greater material complexity. The outcomes achieved under laboratory conditions are not guaranteed to be viable at the scale necessary for them to make a significant difference.

Read More

Commentary: Biden Is Making Russia Great Again

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva, 16 June 2021

Under former President Donald J. Trump, for the first time in decades, the United States became a net exporter of natural gas and oil. That helped to keep global energy prices relatively low. It also gave the United States leverage over the international system in ways it had not enjoyed since before the 1970s.

Alas, the propagation of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China, along with the ceaseless lies of the Western “mainstream” media made such a prosperous and secure future under Trump an impossibility.

In the eight months since assuming office under a cloud of controversy, Joe Biden has done more to harm America’s inherent strategic advantages in the global energy market than any U.S. rival could have imagined. Under Biden, the United States has gone from being a net exporter of global energy to begging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to produce more oil for the world to consume.

Read More

Commentary: The Salvation Army Hides Woke Policies During Christmas Fundraising

Rather than admit their woke policies are not supported by donors or staff, the leadership of The Salvation Army hides these policies from the public. Salvation Army captains tell me, however, that mandatory “diversity” training and calls to repent for racism are still very much integral to TSA internal policies.

I am president of Color Us United, an organization created to stand up for the individual dignity of ordinary Americans against abusive woke policies. Several months ago Color Us United learned that the Salvation Army had gone woke by imposing a curriculum that asks members to “repent for racism.“ We have called them out publicly on this and even met with their National Commander. Instead of addressing the policies that the majority of their members and donors do not support, however, the Salvation Army has hidden its woke materials. 

Read More

Commentary: Myths About a Border Crisis by Design and for Destruction

CBP Border Patrol agents complete official paper work after completing bus security at Nogales port of entry, DeConconi.

For decades Americans have witnessed the gradual disintegration of our southern border. It has angered a lot of people, but it hasn’t affected most people’s lives directly, so little has been done about it. Apart from a brief four-year law and order hiatus under Donald Trump, the fire has burned steadily and under current leadership is now an uncontrollable inferno. How did we get here?

We got here in part because the government and the corporate media have peddled a number of myths, also known as lies, to fool enough citizens that the border fire was under control. It is time to identify and debunk some of the biggest ones here.

Lie #1:  The recent surges at the border are spontaneous events created by root causes in Latin American countries where people are fleeing persecution and violence.

Read More

Commentary: Critical Race Theory Destroys American Justice

BLM protest signs

The George Floyd riots, conveniently shut off this past summer, were as much theater as reality. They were designed to associate Donald Trump with police abuses and disorder, while painting Democrats and their notions of “racial justice” as the path forward.

Ordinary citizens standing up for themselves interfere with this guerilla theater indoctrination; after all, there are a lot more normal people who do not want their towns burned down than there are maniacs willing to do street violence. This is why individuals like Kyle Rittenhouse and citizen self-defense groups are dealt with so harshly by the government and the media.

Government Did Not Protect Us Last Summer

Consider that there were dozens of fires and beatings and a significant number of killings in Minneapolis, Kenosha, Chicago, Portland, St. Louis, and Seattle in the summer of 2020. Hardly any Antifa and BLM rioters have been brought to justice. Federal authorities have made no significant effort to roll up these groups.

Read More

Commentary: Natural Law Liberalism—An Ideology for the Republican Party

Large sign that reads "God Bless America, We will Survive!"

Do you ever wonder why Democratic politicians frequently resort to name calling when challenging Republicans? Why do the so-called mainstream media always seem to have the same anti-Republican talking points? Why are Republican judges consistently portrayed as evil? Why do progressive commentators and democratic policy makers always seem to “talk down” to their conservative opponents? 

Alternatively, does it seem odd that most Republican politicians and conservative speakers often try to portray their arguments as policy disagreements and their opponents as “good people” with “differing views”? Republicans and most mainstream conservative pundits generally answer policy questions directly. They try to show respect and yield to opposing points when they make sense. Republicans in general just want to argue for practical solutions to problems. 

The reason for this is simple: the Democratic Party over time has embraced an all-encompassing ideology that governs the way their politics and quest for power are shaped. All Democratic politicians and their pundits embrace at least some key aspects of this ideology. This fact is not readily apparent to everyone because Americans are not inclined to over-intellectualize politics. Most Americans view government and politics as a means of enacting the best common-sense policies to govern their daily lives. Each issue is viewed on its merits and Americans often split policy allegiance between Republican and Democratic ideas. Republican politicians subscribe to this concept as well, frequently supporting individual Democratic policies or at least trying for a compromise if the Democratic policies appear to have some stand-alone merit. Unfortunately, this is increasingly a losing proposition because they are fighting against a unified ideology bent on reshaping our constitution and imposing a totalitarian worldview. Democrats and the Left believe that the future is the collective and the collective is guided by an intellectual ruling class. 

Read More

Commentary: Newsletter Peddlers Offended by Real Journalism Quit

Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg

An 82-second movie trailer was supposedly all it took for two of the most perpetually outraged—and chronically wrong—political pundits to quit their gigs at Fox News.

“The trailer for Tucker Carlson’s special about the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol landed online on Oct. 27, and that night Jonah Goldberg sent a text to his business partner, Stephen Hayes: ‘I’m tempted just to quit Fox over this,’” New York Times media columnist Ben Smith revealed in an unnecessarily lengthy article on November 21 to explain why the pair resigned before they were let go by the network, as a Fox executive later confirmed to the Washington Post. “‘I’m game,’ Mr. Hayes replied. ‘Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.’”

Carlson’s documentary, “Patriot Purge,” aired in three separate segments on the network’s streaming service, Fox Nation, a few days later. It’s unclear whether Goldberg or Hayes watched the film in its entirety but additional commentary—given to Smith over Zoom while “clad in athleisure,” a word intended to lend muscularity to two of the laziest commentators in the business—suggests that neither did.

Read More

Commentary: Losing Confidence in the Pillars of Our Civilization

Millions of citizens long ago concluded that professional sports, academia, and entertainment were no longer disinterested institutions, but far Left and deliberately hostile to Middle America. 

Yet American conservatives still adamantly supported the nation’s traditional investigatory, intelligence, and military agencies—especially when they came under budgetary or cultural attacks. 

Read More

Commentary: The Countries with the Cleanest Environments in the World Are Also the Most Economically Free, Research Shows

One of the most frequently raised arguments against capitalism is that it is the primary driver of environmental pollution and climate change. But if we compare Yale University’s ranking of countries with the highest environmental performance with the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, a very different correlation emerges.

For more than 20 years, Yale University has been publishing the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and ranking countries according to their environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The EPI uses 32 performance indicators across eleven issue categories:

Read More

Commentary: Five Trump-Russia ‘Collusion’ Corrections We Need from the Media Now

Five years after the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded collection of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories known as the Steele dossier was published by BuzzFeed, news outlets that amplified its false allegations have suffered major losses of credibility. The recent indictment of the dossier’s main source, Igor Danchenko, for allegedly lying to the FBI, has catalyzed a new reckoning.

In response to what the news site Axios has called “one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history,” the Washington Post has re-edited at least a dozen stories related to Steele. For two of those, the Post removed entire sections, changed headlines, and added lengthy editor’s notes.

Read More

Commentary: Rittenhouse Case Highlights a House Divided on Self-Defense

The conclusion of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, in which the 18-year-old was found not guilty of murder or assault in the shootings of three rioters in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, reflects a widening gap in how Americans conceive of justice and self-defense. 

For those cheering Rittenhouse’s exoneration, the case was a prototypical demonstration of rights and obligations of republican citizenship. A lawfully armed Rittenhouse joined with neighbors, in the absence of effective governance, to protect lives and property by putting out fires, cleaning up damage, and offering medical assistance to the injured. When he was directly assaulted for engaging in this activity, Rittenhouse defended himself, harming no one who had not directly placed him under reasonable fear for his life.

Read More

Newt Gingrich Commentary: Thanksgiving, an American Tradition

Thanksgiving means a lot more than turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.

More than 401 years ago, courageous pilgrims set sail across the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower to start a new life in North America.  They arrived at Plymouth on November 11, 1620, after a dangerous crossing and founded a new settlement where they could practice their faith freely.

Read More

Commentary: Frozen Turkeys Explode When Deep-Fried

Deep-frying a turkey is a great way to get a delicious, moist meal for Thanksgiving. But this method of cooking can be a very dangerous undertaking.

Every fall, millions of dollars of damage, trips to the ER and even deaths result from attempts to deep-fry turkeys. The vast majority of these accidents happen because people put frozen turkeys into boiling oil. If you are considering deep-frying this year, do not forget to thaw and dry your turkey before placing it in the pot. Failure to do so may lead to an explosive disaster.

Read More

Newt Gingrich Commentary: Biden’s Shameful Blame Game

Joe Biden, suffering from abysmal poll numbers, is trying to blame others for the results of his failed policies, which have most notably resulted in skyrocketing inflation and energy costs. In a White House speech on Tuesday, Biden attempted to regain the confidence of angry Americans.

It didn’t go well.

Read More

Commentary: The History of the Word ‘Turkey’

“Meleagris Gallopavo Day” is a bit of a mouthful. Which may be why this Thanksgiving, most people will opt for the less ornithologically precise “Turkey Day.”

And just as turkey is a versatile meat – think of those leftover options! – so too is the word “turkey,” which can refer to everything from the bird itself to a populous Eurasian country to movie flops.

Read More

Commentary: The Border Is a Major Problem for Biden and America

The Biden administration is drowning on issue after issue, and many of the bubbles are coming from the Rio Grande River. The problem, which dare not speak its name, is illegal immigration. The administration, its political party, and the mainstream media refuse to say the very word “illegal.” For a while, they called it “undocumented,” pretending the migrants somehow forgot their papers in the top dresser drawer in Guatemala or Haiti. Now, even that bland phrase is deemed too clear and honest. The new woke term is “irregular immigration.” Anything to minimize the problem, sway public opinion, and avoid plain talk.

The obfuscation goes much further than a few phrases. Consider Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ testimony to Congress last week, where he faced awkward questions about the administration’s decision to stop building the border wall, including portions that had already been contracted and paid for. Mayorkas’ reply, “We are not going to construct a border wall along the ragged and jagged cliffs along certain parts of the border.”

Read More

Commentary: Select Committee Covering Up Police Brutality on January 6th

The family of Rosanne Boyland, one of two female Trump supporters who died at the Capitol on January 6, just announced they have hired a lawyer to investigate the suspicious circumstances of her untimely death. Boyland, 34, traveled with her friend Justin Winchell from Georgia to Washington to hear President Trump’s speech.

The pair then walked from the Ellipse to Capitol Hill; a photo published in a local Georgia newspaper shows Boyland smiling, wearing Old Glory sunglasses and carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag that day.

Read More

Commentary: The New ‘Blue Confederacy’

Why are progressive regions of the country—especially in the old major liberal cities (e.g., Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle)—institutionalizing de facto racial quotas through “proportional representation” based on “disparate impact”? Why are they promoting ethnic and racial chauvinism, such as allowing college students to select the race of their own roommates, calibrating graduation ceremonies by skin color and tribe, segregating campus “safe spaces” by race, and banning literature that does not meet commissariat diktats?

Why are they turning into one-party political fiefdoms separating the rich and poor, increasingly resembling feudal societies as members of the middle class flee or disappear? What does it mean that they are becoming more and more intolerant in their cancel culture, and quasi-religious intolerance of dissent, on issues from climate change and abortion-on-demand to critical race theory and wokeness?

Isn’t it strange that there are entire states and regions wholly reliant on the money and power of “one-crop” Big Tech monopolies? And why, in the 21st century no less, are Democratic-controlled counties, cities, and entire states nullifying federal law?

Read More

Commentary: The Communists in America Must Not Be Empowered

CCP flag in center, waving in wind

Just for the record, I am a life-long, card carrying, practiced anti-Communist.

As a proud Cold Warrior, I grew up in the heat-seeking years of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Airlift, and the infiltration of world capitals by communist revolutionaries.

At my church, I was a member of a kid’s youth group called the Jet Cadets, which met on Sunday nights. Our theme song was “We are Jet Cadets for Jesus, we are pilots for our Lord, we will strafe and bomb . . . ” You get the gist: the enemy was godless Soviet Russia.

Read More

Commentary: The Death of the City by the Bay

The San Francisco Bay area is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world with home values beyond the wildest dreams of many across the country, ironically, this epicenter of socialism may be in an uncontrollable death spiral induced by their embrace of suicidal policies that are destroying their retail sectors.

Just this past weekend, three separate events tell a story of a dysfunction and votes of no-confidence by retailers.

Read More

Commentary: Red China Persecutes Tennis Star Peng Shuai

Peng Shuai with tennis racket in hand

In early November, the Chinese (PRC) tennis star Peng Shuai wrote on her blog that she had been aggressed in 2018 by a Communist Party boss and vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, who made her his concubine. The blog post, on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, was removed in less time than it takes to play a set, 20 minutes. 

Peng’s glory days as an athlete were in the mid-teens, when she was the first Chinese tennis player to reach a no. 1 ranking; hers was in doubles. In that format she won Wimbledon 2013 and Roland-Garros 2014, partnering with the Taiwan (Free China) player Hsieh Su-wei (at a time when the Chicoms were offering Hsieh big bucks to defect to their side); Peng was also strong in singles, ranked no. 14.  

Peng has not been seen in public or heard from since her blog was censured. 

Read More

Commentary: There Is No Room for ‘Privileging Feelings’ in the Marketplace of Ideas

Person holding a phone, group of people taking a photo together

In 2015, the University of Chicago issued a statement, referred to as the “Chicago Statement,” in response to “recent events nationwide that have tested institutional commitments to free and open discourse.”  Through the statement, the University reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to free speech and expression, including its “overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.”  

The statement emphasized that:

“[E]ducation should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”  

Read More

Commentary: A Former Prosecutor’s Take on the Rittenhouse Trial and Verdict

Could Kyle Rittenhouse face another trial? Does Rittenhouse have grounds to sue media outlets for defamation? What about the behavior of the prosecutors during the trial? The Heritage Foundation’s Zack Smith, a former prosecutor, joins Tim Doescher of “Heritage Explains” to answer these questions and more. Watch the full interview here or read, below, an edited and abridged transcript.

Read More

Commentary: Taking Advantage of COVID to Change the Way Americans Vote

Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and chief of staff for President Barack Obama, famously said in 2008 that you should never let “a serious crisis go to waste” because it is “an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Liberals in 2020 took Emanuel’s political tenet to heart and used the COVID-19 pandemic to try to implement through litigation and executive actions by state government officials the reckless changes in voting and election procedures that they had been wanting for years.

That effort involved voiding basic security protocols on election procedures, including absentee ballots, and pushing for the equivalent of all-mail elections, which would give their activists a free hand in pressuring, coercing, and influencing voters in their homes in ways they are unable to do in polling places. To force these changes, they ended up filing more election-related lawsuits than had ever been filed in an election year in U.S. history. The prior record was almost 200 lawsuits before and after the 2000 election when George W. Bush beat Al Gore; by late October 2020, more than 400 election-related lawsuits had been filed across the nation, the overwhelming majority by the Left.

Read More

Commentary: Biden Using Backdoor Rule to Pass Free College Agenda

Americans by and large oppose giveaways to the affluent or privileged, which explains why they consistently oppose forgiving college student-loan debt. Eighty percent of Americans have no student loan debt, and those who carry debt are disproportionately millennials with advanced degrees – and higher earning potential. Easy loan forgiveness falls under the umbrella of the free college agenda championed by most Democrats, but strong opposition led the Biden administration to drop free college from the spending bill it proposed last month.

Not to worry: Democrats discovered a backdoor to free college through an obscure and arcane Department of Education (DOE) rule. Known as Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR), the rule existed as little more than a formality in the annals of the Federal Register, a stopgap to finalize the Federal Direct Loan Program. Through the first twenty years of its existence, it was implemented just five times, but it has now evolved into a battering ram for Democrats to get free college through the political barricades.

In 2015, Corinthian Colleges, which enrolled over 100,000 students at its 100 subsidiary campuses, filed for bankruptcy. The school’s collapse coincided with growing momentum for the “cancel college debt” and “free college” campaigns, which had evolved out of the Occupy Wall Street movement of the early 2010s and found friendly supporters in Congress, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin.

Read More

Commentary: Terror in the Capitol Tunnel

In 2018, after a local news crew filmed Ryan Nichols rescuing dogs abandoned by their owners after Hurricane Florence, the former Marine appeared on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Not only did DeGeneres commend Nichols’ longtime work as a search-and-rescue volunteer, she donated $25,000 to the Humane Society in his name and gave Ryan and his wife, Bonnie, a $10,000 check to pay for the honeymoon they had missed the year before so Ryan could assist rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

But instead of heading to Hawaii, the Nicholses used the generous donation to buy a rescue boat. With his Marine buddy and best friend, Alex Harkrider, at his side, the pair has participated in “dozens of hurricane rescues and disaster relief efforts,” according to Joseph McBride, Nichols’ attorney.

Three years after his appearance on the DeGeneres show, Nichols was featured on another program, but this time, Nichols spoke from the fetid confines of a political prison in the nation’s capital. And instead of telling a heroic story of saving dogs drowning in rising flood waters, Nichols told Newsmax host Greg Kelly a harrowing tale of what he saw at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Read More

Commentary: Parent and School Board Tensions Could Be Eased by School Choice

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

Public education has been under the microscope lately, especially since many states shut down in-person learning last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With children learning from home via technology, many parents had the chance to hear what their children’s teachers were saying—and they didn’t always like it. In fact, many were downright disturbed by what public schools were teaching their children.

Parents should not be forced to sit by and watch as their children get indoctrinated with progressive ideas they don’t agree with. Assuming it is legitimate for the government—that is, the taxpayers—to fund education, the government should distribute those funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers and allow them to choose where to educate their children. Not only would this allow for more choice in schools, but it would also reduce much of the conflict we are seeing today between parents and school boards across the country.

A common response to voucher proposals is that they would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private religious schools, thus violating separation of church and state. In other words, atheists and progressives argue that they should not have to financially support schools that teach students religious worldviews.

Read More

Commentary: Alzheimer’s Research Pipeline Is Poised to Conquer Alzheimer’s with Combination Drug Treatments

The recent approval of Aduhelm, a drug that removes amyloid plaques from the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, is a reason for cautious celebration. Not just because it is the first new treatment approved in 17 years, but because it is the first piece of a complex puzzle that researchers are hot on the trail of solving.

Read More

Commentary: The FBI Has Lost All Credibility

The Washington, D.C.-based Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost all credibility as a disinterested investigatory agency. Now we learn from a whistleblower that the agency was allegedly investigating moms and dads worried about the teaching of critical race theory in their kids’ schools.

In truth, since 2015, the FBI has been constantly in the news—and mostly in a negative and constitutionally disturbing light.

Read More

Commentary: Conservatives Will Embrace Free Market Populism

It would be an understatement to say that former President Donald Trump changed the Republican Party. Whatever one’s view of Trump, most observers can agree that Trump forced a break-up between the GOP and big business. Within conservative circles, debate persists over whether this is a good thing. On one side, writers like Oren Cass urge conservatives to embrace an essentially anti-free market approach. Even some Republican politicians, like Senator Josh Hawley, have expressed support for this path. On the other side, publications like the Washington Times and The Federalist call for conservatives to continue to support the free market. Others view the GOP as only selectively anti-big business, or using the idea for rhetorical purposes only.

Populism, Conservatism, and Trump

It is important to reflect on what has fueled this “anti-business” view in some conservative circles. To sum it up in one word: populism. It’s no secret that Trump’s political identity is centered around populism – but does populism always mean being anti-free market? Trump’s conservatism has been about more than just pro-tariff and anti-immigration policies. Under Trump, both inside and outside his administration, conservatives have pursued further privatizing education. The Trump administration made it easier for big business to classify workers as independent contractors, and conservative blogs attacked California for passing a law that did the opposite. The Trump administration pursued several policies that sought to reign in the Affordable Care Act.

Read More

Commentary: False Incentives for Vaccination

Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul launched a new program: an incentive to get children ages 5 through 11 to take COVID shots, now that they are available. The program in question has that usual bureaucratic and humorless advertising campaign: “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate.”

According to the New York State website, “Parents and guardians of children ages 5 through 11 who receive their first vaccine dose by December 19th can enter the State’s incentive program for a chance for their child to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year SUNY or CUNY college or university; the scholarship includes tuition, room, and board. Ten winners will be announced each week beginning November 24th, with a total of 50 winners being selected over the five-week period.”

Read More

Commentary: Prosecution of Project Veritas Sounds Warning About Two-Tier Justice and Big State Corruption

James O'Keefe

Whatever else can be said about the FBI’s vendetta against James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, his investigative journalism enterprise, it is a useful reminder of two things: 1) that we increasingly live in a two-tier society in which the lower tier can expect the arbitrary intrusion of all the coercive elements of the state, and 2) that the fundamental legitimacy of many important American institutions is draining away rapidly like a full bathtub that is suddenly unplugged.

Scott Johnson at Powerline has an excellent summary of the case thus far.

Last Thursday, the FBI conducted a raid against two former employees of Project Veritas.

A few days later, they conducted a dawn raid against O’Keefe himself. It was the full monty.

Read More

Commentary: Illegal Immigrants Would Get $10.5 Billion from Reconciliation Bill

U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations following the implementation of Title 42 USC 265 at the northern and southern land borders. U.S. Border Patrol agents use personal protective equipment as they prepare to process a group of individuals encountered near Sasabe, Ariz. on March 22, 2020. CBP Photo by Jerry Glaser

The budget reconciliation package pushed by Democrats creates a new expanded child tax credit (CTC) that would pay illegal immigrants some $10.5 billion next year. All immigrants with children are eligible, regardless of how they got here and whether their children are U.S.-born. This includes the roughly 600,000 unaccompanied minors and persons in family units stopped at the border in FY2021 and released into the country pending a hearing. Cash welfare to illegal immigrants is not just costly; it also encourages more illegal immigration. 

Although it is referred to as a “refundable credit,” the new CTC, like the old additional child tax credit (ACTC) it replaces, pays cash to low-income families who do not pay any federal income tax. The new program significantly increases the maximum cash payment from $1,400 per child to $3,600 for children under 6, and to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. After 2022, the maximum payment would be $2,000 per child, but advocates hope the much larger payments will be extended. 

In an analysis conducted in October, my colleague Karen Zeigler and I estimated that illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children would receive $8.2 billion from the new CTC. However, we had assumed that the new program, like the old ACTC, would require children claimed as dependents to have Social Security numbers (SSNs).  But reconciliation (page 1452, line 14) would permanently repeal this requirement. 

Read More

Commentary: Trump Is Necessary to Restore Two-Party Rule

Donald Trump waving

In his most recent column, George Will, dean of serious American political commentators and high priest of Trump-hate, broke new ground in the reconciliation of buyer’s remorse over last year’s election and visceral aversion to Donald Trump. Will counseled Joe Biden’s entourage to tighten the cocoon that protects him from journalistic scrutiny or any form of spontaneity in public, lest Trump be reelected in 2024.

I have agreed with Will on almost everything between the 1964 and 2016 elections, and we have been cordial acquaintances for 40 years, although among its other regrettable side effects, the Trump phenomenon seems to have paused contact between us. George Will now purports to believe that the disappearance of Trump, which he had assured himself and his readers was inevitable if it were only possible to evict him from office last year, is necessary for the restoration of two-party rule.

With respect, I offer an alternative view. Trump is instrumental in the restoration of two-party rule.

Read More

Commentary: Thinking Critically About ‘Critical Thinking’

“We must never,” Bismarck is said to have warned, “look into the origins of laws or sausages.” Sage advice, I’ve always thought (and no pun intended with that “sage”)—but how much at odds it is with the dominant current of modern thought, which is to say Enlightenment thought.

Immanuel Kant, a great hero of the Enlightenment, summed up the alternative to Bismarck’s counsel when, in an essay called “What is Enlightenment?,” he offered Sapere Aude, Dare to know!, as a motto for the movement. Enlightened man, Kant thought, was the first real adult: the first to realize his potential as an autonomous being—a being, as the etymology of the word implies, who “gives the law to himself.” As Kant stressed, this was a moral as well as an intellectual achievement, since it involved courage as much as insight: courage to put aside convention, tradition, and superstition (how the three tended to coalesce for Enlightened thinkers!) in order to rely for guidance on the dictates of reason alone.

Read More

Commentary: Denying China’s Quest for Regional – and Global – Hegemony

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

One might quarrel with Sun Tzu’s numbers in this famous formulation from the approximately 2,500-year-old Chinese classic “The Art of War.” But Western authorities on war starting with Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz agree with Sun Tzu that knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses and knowledge of the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to sound strategy.

Read More

Commentary: An Overview of the 2022 Election Cycle

"VOTE ONE MORE TIME" sign on an electric pole in Atlanta, Georgia

It is now less than a year to the 2022 elections, with this, more stories about the midterms are developing. Below are the latest updates.

State

In California, Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin will face a recall. Conservatives have tapped into anger over his decisions not to prosecute certain cases. Meanwhile, CA Governor Gavin Newsom is facing controversy over his lack of public appearances.

In Wisconsin, Republicans are continuing their 2020 election audit, even amidst criticism that the audit is too partisan and unruly. Republican Senator Ron Johnson is set to decide in the next few weeks over whether he will seek re-election

In New Jersey, Powerful Democratic State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has conceded in his race for re-election. Sweeney’s race caused national headlines because it was so shocking.

Read More

Ric Grenell and Gloria Romero Commentary: A Plan to Deliver Equal Opportunity to Every Student in California

Group of young students working in classroom

When students are armed with a world class education, they can break down barriers and achieve their deepest dreams. However, in America today, big government and big unions are preventing students from receiving a quality education by forcing American kids to attend the school closest to them, even when it is totally failing. There is no school competition for kids who can’t afford to opt-out of the shoddy school they are forced to attend. This policy and practice especially impacts poor and minority children. But in our home state of California, we’ve had enough of failing government monopolies. We are launching a ballot initiative that will deliver educational freedom to every child in the state, regardless of where they live or how much income their parents earn.

We have all seen government schools that transition from safe havens for learning and hope into depressing institutions that fall short of educating tomorrow’s leaders. Parents are mad, taxpayers are frustrated, and our teachers are not supported by their union bosses. Nowhere is that reality truer than in states where big unions—like the California Teachers Association—control political decision makers with massive campaign war chests seized from their members’ obligatory dues. That’s why Fix California has launched a project to put a ballot initiative in front of voters in 2022—to emancipate students from the government monopoly on education.

Currently, in California, residents are taxed exorbitantly at every turn, with the ruling party’s promise that those dollars will ostensibly be spent on improving the state. That’s a lie on many fronts, but it’s especially untrue in education where failing government schools continue to be rewarded by more tax dollars and virtually no accountability. Tax dollars are siphoned off in the form of required union dues and are funneled straight into the coffers of corrupt unions financing campaigns of politicians who ensure the gravy train keeps flowing. It is a crooked cycle that has destroyed government education across the country.

Read More

Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

Read More

Commentary: Biden Targets the Religious Freedom of Federal Contractors

Joe Biden is systematically eliminating the religious freedom protections that Donald Trump established. The latest example of Biden’s secularist program comes from his Labor Department, which is planning to undo Trump’s policy of defending the religious freedom of federal contractors.

Trump’s Labor Department protected federal contractors who “hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose.”

“Religious organizations should not have to fear that acceptance of a federal contract or subcontract will require them to abandon their religious character or identity,” said Trump’s Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.

Read More

Commentary: Dogma, Not Facts, Risks the Navy’s Readiness to Defend the Nation

Airplanes in the air above Navy ships

After the 2020 summer of riots, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N) on July 1, 2020. After a six-month effort, the final 142-page report was submitted on January 28, 2021 Its two operating assumptions are, first, that the Navy, as an institution, is systemically racist, and, second, that “Mission readiness is stronger when diverse strengths are used and differing perspectives are applied.” Notwithstanding several key military principles—such as unit cohesion, strict discipline across the chain of command, and, well, uniforms—the Navy is now ideologically committed to the mantra that “diversity is strength.”

Not surprisingly, considering the key entering assumptions, the task force report identified problems with Navy systems, climate, and culture; and submitted almost 60 recommendations aligned with four lines of inquiry: Recruiting, Talent Management/Retention, Professional Development, and Innovation and STEM (as well as a fifth line for miscellaneous recommendations).

One should be skeptical, however, about the entire exercise and the recommendations that flow from it. It inaccurately depicts the proud institution of the United States Navy as systemically racist—a slander that has more potential to undermine morale, good order, discipline, and military effectiveness than any geostrategic adversary. 

Read More

Commentary: Intimidation in Kenosha and Corporate Board Rooms

The Rittenhouse case makes me sick. There is supposed to be a presumption of innocence in this country and the case is classic self-defense. Even the prosecution’s witnesses gave testimony suitable to acquit Rittenhouse, but the politics forced this trial.

Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial because the left, and the law in many cities, have opened the door to Marxist rioters destroying their cities, Kenosha is no different.

Read More

Commentary: In Search of the Neon-Hatted ‘Proud Boys’

A steady drip of information continues to reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation played a much larger—perhaps central—role before and during the Capitol protest than initially believed. And unanswered questions as to why certain co-conspirators or alleged instigators have not yet been charged while others who played a far lesser role face serious charges are fueling mounting suspicions that January 6 was an inside job rather than an “insurrection” incited by President Donald Trump.

After months of speculation about the use of FBI assets, first raised by Darren Beattie at Revolver News, the New York Times confirmed in September that at least two informants embedded with the Proud Boys were in close contact with their FBI handlers that day.

Read More