Monthly Archives: June 2016

Trump is Not the Only GOP Heretic on Free Trade

JUN 29
  |  Reprinted from

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank

The headlines blared breathlessly. “Trump Breaks With Party on Trade.” “Defying GOP orthodoxy, Trump trashes trade deals.” And so forth. As somebody who worked for House Republican leaders for 15 years, I can tell you that if Donald Trump is a heretic when it comes to free-trade orthodoxy, he is not alone in that heresy.

Indeed, over those years, I witnessed first hand as Congress — under Republican control and under Democratic control, with two presidents with the last name of Bush and one president with the last name of Clinton — either try to pass or successfully pass major trade legislation that has set the table for our modern economy and face significant GOP opposition each time. Continue reading

Brexit! How To Respond


When the shock and emotional reaction to the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union wears off, perhaps a more thoughtful and analytical view will emerge. For that, look at the heart of the problem. Look to Brussels.

Fifty-two percent of the British population are not ignorant, uneducated, white (now almost an epithet) isolationists with fear-mongering in their hearts and with buyer’s remorse in the aftermath. One needs to consider with a clear head what democracy has wrought. Most voters, as was intended, went to the polls guided by the perspective of their own life experiences; what they thought was best for themselves, their fellow citizens, and their country. For many, it was a very tough choice. It was a choice primarily for accountability, patriotism, AND stability. Voters were not leaping INTO the chaotic, great unknown outside the warmth of the EU; they were leaping OUT…they were saying NO to what they see as a disintegrating reality and an unpalatable, impalpable future. Continue reading

Silly Sit In

JUN 23 | Reprinted from

House Democrats not only took to the House Floor yesterday, they took over the House Floor. They staged a sit-in to protest the lack of votes on gun control measures.

It will be unproductive.

I’m not suggesting that the issue of gun control – or at least more complete background checks – is silly. I am suggesting that a childish demonstration such as the Democrats pulled yesterday will not move a single vote – on or off the House Floor.

It would – should – horrify the House Democrats to realize they are following in the footsteps of Newt Gingrich who was the first to employ modern guerilla tactics on the House floor. Continue reading

Change in America is Everywhere; To What End?


The single-story wood frame house needs a paint job. The foundation is cracked. Windows are broken and the roof leaks.

Oh, yes, it is also on fire.

Research guru David Winston has been using a picture of this house for years, to make a powerful point: Too often in politics we miss the big picture. We replace the windows and fix the roof, but don’t put out the fire, which in Winston’s analogy is a bad economy. Fixing the economy has been the number one priority of Americans in nearly all of the years Winston has been presenting his burning house. But government has done little, while concern has turned to fear and fear to anger and anger to despair. And, once again economic doom and gloom loom are on the horizon. There is talk of recession. Continue reading


JUN 20 | Reprinted from

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are “underwater” as it pertains to their favorable/unfavorable ratings.

The percentage of people who have a negative image of Clinton is in the mid-50s. Those who have similarly chilly feelings toward Trump are in the mid-to-high 60s, although in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week Trump’s unfavorable hit an unheared of level of 70 percent.

Clinton has been a major figure in American politics since the election of 1992 – probably two years before that when Gov. Bill Clinton broke onto the national scene. Let’s look at that. Someone eligible to vote (having achieved the age of 18) would have had to been born in 1974 or earlier. Continue reading

They Came For Me

JUN 13 | Reprinted from

My first thought when I turned on my TV Sunday morning and found that the Orlando shooting had occurred in a gay nightclub was: They’re dead because they were gay.

I have a lot of gay friends. I tried to come up with words that would express my feelings for what they must have been going through.

I couldn’t.

I assume they were going through the same feelings I had – and will have again, I fear – when Jews are attacked in shops and restaurants. Those attacks occurred not because they were in the wrong random place at the wrong random time, but because they were in a place that Jews were known to frequent. Continue reading

Orlando Exposes Threat to First Amendment

JUN 13
  |  Reprinted from

America’s First Amendment to the Constitution is unique.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

No other country goes out of its way to protect the right of everybody to practice whatever religion they want.

The attack in Orlando shows the limits of that protection. Continue reading

Press Conference Protocol

JUN 2 | Reprinted from

Donald Trump’s press conference to announce his donations to veterans’ groups was a jaw dropper. The amount of money he announced having donated (about $5.6 million) is a long, long way from small change even if you measure your total wealth in the billions.

But, if the Trump campaign thought its candidate making good on a promise made months ago was going to lead every newscast in the near Galaxy, they were wrong.

What led, of course, was Trump’s excoriation of the press in general, the political press corps in particular, and three specific reporters in laser focus. Continue reading