Monthly Archives: January 2015

The War Against Radical Islam

JAN 29 | Reprinted from

Last week, when the first cattle call of GOP candidates for President were paraded on stage in Des Moines, one man, not a candidate nor a potential (as far as I know) candidate, gave what was probably the most important speech of the weekend.

Newt Gingrich talked about, warned about, radical Islam.

Because Newt is not a candidate, his speech was not well covered. In one cut-away shot back to the stand where the seven video cameras were located, only one – probably the C-SPAN camera, had someone behind it. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Thomas Aquinas

JAN 28 | Reprinted from

Eight centuries ago, Thomas Aquinas was born.

I am not an Aquinas scholar, as I suspect most of you are not. But we all owe a debt to this brilliant thinker who changed the course of human history.

Aquinas wasn’t the first Catholic theologian to study the Greek philosophers and apply their lessons to Christianity. Plenty of Irish monks had kept Aristotle, Plato and Socrates alive amid the darkest moments of the Dark Ages. Continue reading


JAN 21 | Reprinted from

Overall: This was not Barack Obama’s best speech. It was modest in its scope and scale; it was almost desultory in its delivery; it was as if the President wanted to take a victory lap just two months, two weeks, and two days after getting blitzed in the mid-term elections on November 4.

About ten minutes in, I was thinking “If everything is so hunky-dory why did the Democrats get hammered so badly at every level, from U.S. Senate to State Representative?” Continue reading

Listen to Carlos Curbelo on Immigration

JAN 21 | Reprinted from

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank

I’m with Carlos Curbelo.

He gave the Spanish language version of the Republican response and in it he said, “We should work through the appropriate channels to create permanent solutions to our immigration system, modernize legal immigration, and strengthen our economy.”

That phrase was left out of Joni Ernst’s response, which went to a broader, non-Spanish speaking audience. Continue reading

Obama’s Tax Plan

JAN 19 | Reprinted from

Not content with overseeing the largest – in terms of both numbers and scope – seat losses by any President in American history during his term, Barack Obama has set his sights on causing potential nominees for his office to have to run against his schemes in 2016.

President Obama’s annual State of the Union address (SOTU to Washington, DC based Tweeters, saving 14 characters) is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow night in a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber. Continue reading

Kind of a Drag

JAN 15 | Reprinted from

While most of the Beltway potelligencia is quacking about (a) whether the Obama Administration should have sent a cabinet-level official to Paris for the big March (they should have) and (b) how long the White House can go without using the word “Islamic” next to – or at least nearby – the word “terrorism” an analysis of what this Administration has meant to the rest of the nation.

Because most of the national political reporters are based in, and work from Washington, DC, they tend to focus on elections for Federal offices: President, Senate and House. Continue reading

It Would Have Been Enough for Us

JAN 12 | Reprinted from

More than 3.7 million people marched in France Sunday to show solidarity against terrorism in the wake of the horrific events in Paris late last week.

According to World leaders joined French President Francois Hollande, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The day also brought together an unlikely duo at the rally: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Who wasn’t there? Continue reading

Present Dangers in New Generation of Journalism


“Freedom to publish and freedom to speak are absolute…because there is no democracy without journalism. The strength of a nation depends on the quality of its information.”
— CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley on 1/9/15 editorializing about terrorist attacks in France.

“While these sources had been reliable in our previous reporting, the intel they passed along to us last night turned out not to be correct.”
— NBC News anchor Brian Williams on 1/9/15 apologizing for the erroneous information on the previous night’s broadcast regarding terrorist attacks in France.

We need to have a national discussion about the media. These quotations reflect serious problems in the way Americans get their news and information and it is having a deleterious effect on how we live our lives, how we are governed, and how we make decisions as a society. Continue reading

It’s Really Not That Complicated

JAN 7 | Reprinted from

It’s really not that complicated.

I don’t mean to sound like Peter Morini, but when it comes to the vote for Speaker of the House, it really isn’t that complicated.

You are either shirts or skins. Red or blue. Republican or Democrat.

It’s a binary choice. Continue reading

Support the Speaker

JAN 6 | Reprinted from

Originally published in The Hill

From 1910 to 1943, it was fairly common for some members of the Republican Party to vote for somebody for Speaker of the House other than the choice of the conference.

Progressive Republicans initially joined with Democrats in rebellion against the autocratic Joe Cannon, and the habit stuck. And in every Speaker’s election during that time, up to 11 members would cast their votes for a person other than the two candidates put forward by the two major parties. Continue reading

A New Congress: Now What?


When the curtain finally dropped on the tragic comedy that was the 113th Congress of the United States, the only applause came from those who were glad it was over.

Some in the media were probably sorry to see the troupe leave town. For them, it was good theater, and good box office.

But for the masses, the 113th Congress was one of the worst in history and there’s no spinning the facts or passing off lame excuses as explanations for what didn’t happen or why. There’s no sense pointing the finger of blame. We don’t have enough fingers. Continue reading