9/26/2017 5:53 PM
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  • WASHINGTON – Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?
  • What a coincidence. It is intriguing to watch Steven Spielberg’s ’’Lincoln’’ biopic about Abraham Lincoln at a time when the current president is receiving secession petitions via the Internet.
  • On election night 2012 I was in DC doing the rounds of various media outlets. At one stop I found myself in a small cramped office of foreign journalists reporting to countries all over Europe and Asia, some as far as Korea. The conversations in the unventilated suite defaulted into election night chatter: "Two-seventy is impossible without Wisconsin." "Florida has 29 electrical votes, but their demographics are changing." "If Romney wins Ohio, he still needs Pennsylvania, but if Obama wins Ohio he doesn't need Pennsylvania."
  • The 14th Regiment Armory was built for the National Guard (nee New York militia) in 1893.
  • Words have a way of coming back to haunt Mitt Romney, especially when he says them in front of television cameras.
  • One institution emerged from Sandy unscathed and, in fact, probably in better shape than before the storm: the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • BOCA RATON, Fla. – The “horses and bayonets” moment is probably the headline. But the larger story of the third and final presidential debate, ostensibly about foreign policy, is that Mitt Romney didn’t really lay a glove on President Obama. For most of the evening, he didn’t even try.
  • Earlier this month, 1,500 churches took part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” in which pastors around the country openly endorse candidates for political office, in violation of federal law.
  • We love our troops, but some of us love ripping them off even more.
  • Is the Supreme Court’s doomsday clock ticking for ‘’racial preferences?’’ Maybe, but the states that already ban race-based admissions show how you can build diversity by other means.
  • On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a foreign policy speech to cadets at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. He was correct in his indictment of the Obama administration for its numerous failures – especially in the Middle East – and his embrace of Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength” philosophy. A strong and respected America is less likely to be attacked.
  • WASHINGTON – How many years of the woman have we had? Let me count.
  • Turn on the TV these days and you may catch a political ad worrying about “the Republican war on women,” a campaign contrivance bringing to mind a 1938 radio broadcast narrated by actor-director Orson Welles. It was a play about a Martian attack. Thousands of listeners thought it was for real and panicked, just as some viewers apparently think Republicans really are out to get women.
  • “Are you better off?” Ronald Reagan rhetorically asked the audience during his 1980 debate with President Jimmy Carter. President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney should each take a lesson from Reagan’s performance.
  • To the millions of Americans unable to find work, to college graduates who can’t get a job and are living with their parents, to the underemployed who are working at jobs far below their skill set and experience, and to those who have given up looking for work altogether, a 7.8 percent unemployment rate is meaningless. The economy stinks.
  • WASHINGTON – I was prepared, sorta, kinda, to defend Barack Obama’s debate performance until I heard Obama adviser David Axelrod on television preening about how the president had spoken to viewers like adults.
  • One good gaffe (47 percent “who are dependent upon government”) calls for another, so Romney staffers reached back to 1998, catching Barack Obama telling students at Loyola University that he actually believes in “redistribution, at least at a certain level.”
  • In the summer of 1959, then-Vice President Richard Nixon flew to Moscow to speak at the opening of the American National Exhibition.
  • The Oval Office isn’t the place to learn on the job. That was the line from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2008. In fairness, that’s always the argument the more experienced candidate uses against the less experienced candidate (just ask Mitt Romney).
  • WASHINGTON – I’ve written variations of this column a couple of times during the past 20 years, but certain occasions bear revisiting – and surely the disappearance of a friend is one.
  • A civil war is brewing within the Republican Party. It’s a fight between two familiar factions: the party establishment vs. the right-wingers.
  • WASHINGTON – When Michelle Obama called voting rights “the movement of our era” in a speech Saturday night, she didn’t specifically mention the Republican-led crusade for restrictive voter identification laws. She didn’t have to.
  • Last year when I was covering the Occupy movement, I crashed a "teach-in" at the Cal campus (a public – meaning  government – university) where an activist announced they didn't need government. "We can govern ourselves!" She declared. Now the problem with a group of people governing is they essentially become (wait for it) a government.
  • What’s a day without a leaked video, a scandal, an unintended sliver of truth?
  • There are few places on earth where freedom of expression is more cherished than in the United States. But sometimes the dedication to that bedrock of democracy is put to excruciating tests, leaving us to wonder if too much freedom is such a good thing after all.
  • “How could this happen?” asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others.
  • WASHINGTON – “This time, the imbeciles have won.”
  • It says something about today’s public education reality that the two sides in the teachers’ union dispute in Chicago are the union and the mayor.
  • WASHINGTON - One of the great fallacies of politics -- and life -- is that one must be liked to be effective.
  • It was amusing as well as a bit amazing to hear President Barack Obama denigrate his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, as short on foreign-policy experience, a man in a “time warp” who still believes Russia is our No. 1 enemy.
  • In a speech resembling a TV re-run (the liberal website The Daily Beast called it “dull”), President Obama accepted his party’s nomination for a second term.
  • The Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa was a post-Apocalyptic dystopia of what the world could be if Republicans were completely in charge: Scared (mostly) white people in a militarized labyrinth of blockades in strategic dead ends
  • Maybe Democrats have some slick salesmen, like Bill Clinton and our current president, who can sell you swampland and have you convinced that you’ve bought choice beachfront property.
  • The 2012 Democratic National Convention was essentially a chant of Government, Government, Government, wonderful, holy, all-powerful Government. And the thing is, if you believe deeply enough, you can help build a national debt now officially more than $16 trillion.
  • The president has to run against himself. His own record on the economy has been so pitiful he can’t defend it or run on it. He has to run away from it.
  • Apparently, Monday, Aug. 27, was opening day for Hysterical Liberal Sanctimony About Imagined Republican Racism. During this first round, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the TV networks each put in a splendid showing.
  • CHARLOTTE – A few years ago, it was fashionable for Democrats to describe themselves as “members of the reality-based community.’’ These days, it seems the foreclosure crisis has hit them so hard they’ve been forced to move to another neighborhood.
  • CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Columnist Leonard Pitts wrote a story for the front page of last Sunday’s Charlotte Observer indicting both parties for failing to speak up for the poor. He inspired this column.
  • TAMPA, Fla. -- Gazing out on the pale continent of the Republican National Convention, it was interesting to ponder: What if Barack Obama had been a Republican?
  • My first political convention was in 1964 when Democrats convened in Atlantic City to nominate Lyndon Johnson for a full term as president. I was a young copyboy at the NBC News network bureau in Washington. We arrived from Washington aboard a chartered DC-3 plane that also carried the late anchor/reporter Frank McGee and his wife.
  • And now a few words about the Republican National Convention. AKA: Women with Big Hair and the Men in White Shoes Who Love Them. And white certainly was the operative word in Tampa. Mashed potatoes on paper plates with a side of leeks white.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – We have reached a phase of the presidential campaign that could be called the Season of Empty Metaphors.
  • We can win in November with ease.
  • Poor Mickey Kaus. He’s the liberal intellectual (not an oxymoron – he’s the last known living “liberal intellectual”) lefties on TV are usually stealing from, but now that this welfare reform maven has concluded that Romney’s welfare ad is basically correct, liberals refuse to acknowledge his existence.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – Has there ever been a more dishonest presidential campaign than the one Republicans are waging right now?
  • Is there no point at which we conclude that the United Nations has evolved into an organization that is not just flawed, not just in need of reform, but fundamentally, structurally, and incorrigibly hostile to American values and the cause of freedom in the 21st century?
  • TAMPA, Fla. — The delayed opening of the Republican National Convention worked to the advantage of the GOP by both heightening anticipation and forcing the elimination of extraneous speakers, which there are always too many of at these things.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – Huzzah, America, our centuries-old struggle with racism and bigotry may be coming to an end.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is either the luckiest or unluckiest man in America. Every year about this time, he gets slammed with a potentially catastrophic natural disaster and has to miss all the fun.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – Who knew? In the hall-of-mirrors parallel universe where the Republican National Convention is taking place, the GOP stands tall and proud as the party of Medicare.
  • Personal privacy is dead, and for that matter so is taste. They have been wiped out by the disturbing explosion of technology and the insensitivity of the Internet, which appeals always to the lowest common denominator and facilitates personal intrusion.
  • TAMPA, Fla. — This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song “I Am What I Am” from the musical “La Cage Aux Folles.”
  • Republican Party operatives, who wasted no time indicting their Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin for his interview faux pas on abortion, may bear more responsibility than Akin himself for the mess that has been created.
  • TAMPA, Fla. – I had hoped he would wait until I got here, but he was in a rush to go.
  • Relying on Todd Akin's sense of decency has not worked. Within hours of his idiotic comments about "legitimate rape," Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS pulled out millions of dollars in funding for the Missouri Senate race. Akin didn't get the hint.
  • It's trapping season. The targets are Republicans, whom the Democratic-friendly media (the trappers) hunt in order to smear -- especially the Romney-Ryan ticket -- forcing them off message.
  • Men, we have had a tough few days. Everywhere you look headlines blare the news that some of us have been behaving badly -- well, you know, worse than usual.
  • Iran or Israel: Which is more deserving of censure? On the one hand, as the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported last week, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling Israel “a cancerous tumor” that, he threatened, will “soon be excised.” He added: “The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists. . . . With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists.”
  • Two weeks before President Barack Obama issued this week’s now-famous war-talk warning that any Syrian effort to move or deploy its chemical weapons would be a “red line for us” – presumably a threat of military intervention – the U.S. Senate’s most respected diplomat-without-portfolio arrived in Moscow hoping to head off just such a crisis.
  • If it hasn’t completely vanished down the memory hole, you might recall that last week a man walked into the headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council with a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and bullets, said something like ‘’I don’t like your politics’’ and then shot the building manager.
  • There is a distinct smell of immorality about our national elections. You can spell that odor M-O-N-E-Y.
  • Dictionary.com defines a "debate" as: "A formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers."
  • Is this the nastiest presidential campaign ever? That’s a toughie. Past campaigns have set the bar so low that, to quote a senior advisor to Mitt Romney, ’’I don’t think a world champion limbo dancer could get any lower.’’
  • “Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abased, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.”
    – Edward Gibbon, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”
  • There’s a line of thinking on the political left that Mitt Romney served up a great softball in picking Paul Ryan as his running mate.
  • Choosing Paul Ryan is a game-changer.
  • My smash best-seller “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America” has just come out in paperback – and not a moment too soon! Democrats always become especially mob-like during presidential election campaigns.
  • The charm of Sarah Palin as a vice presidential pick is she set the bar incredibly low for her successors. As long as a nominee can name a newspaper and their foreign policy experience isn't living next to a foreign country, the press can dub them better than Sarah Palin. More qualified. More gravitas. More ready to lead than Palin was...
  • WASHINGTON – The legendary Cosmo Girl, Helen Gurley Brown, has died and with her, one hopes, a not-so-fabulous legacy.
  • WASHINGTON – The legendary Cosmo Girl, Helen Gurley Brown, has died and with her, one hopes, a not-so-fabulous legacy.
  • When women complain about men who can’t commit, they can thank – or blame – two people: Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner and the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown, who died this week at age 90.
  • Even as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were undergoing their official unveiling Saturday, the TV and social-media talking heads were all atwitter about how this means the new 2012 controversy will be what happens to Medicare.
  • The Democrats want to scare the elderly to death about Paul Ryan's Medicare proposals even though they won't affect anyone over 54, and here's what they're not telling anyone. Their own legislative mishaps include billions in cuts that start eating away at Medicare right around the corner and won't address the debt threat because of the coming costs of Obamacare.
  • A record number of us now say we are political independents, swiveling our heads right and left as we watch the Democrats and the Republicans try to govern – and fail.
  • Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal editorial “Why Not Paul Ryan?” made the case for his selection as the Republican vice-presidential nominee in this statement: “Romney can win a big election over big issues. He’ll lose a small one.”
  • WASHINGTON – In the matter of Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to be his running mate, I keep flashing on images of Wallace Shawn in “The Princess Bride”: Inconceivable!
  • Since when has personal wealth become a disqualifier for the presidency? Had that been the case, there would have been no Roosevelts or Bushes in the White House. Jack Kennedy, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover – and, for that matter, George Washington – would have been precluded from holding the office.