The outrage in Charleston provoked a flood of commentary on two of the most difficult issues in American life: race and guns. If the brutal murder of nine people in a church resulted in some lasting progress on those issues, it would provide a memorial to the victims that could offer some comfort to their families and friends. Unfortunately, however, the likelihood of forward movement in either area is uncertain at best. Continue reading
In our June 20 Special Bulletin, we reported on the action of a House subcommittee in eliminating funding for two programs for family planning. One of our readers inquired in a published comment where the “media involvement” was, and two days later The New York Times weighed in with an editorial, “Republicans Take Aim At Poor Women.” Now, The Huffington Post reports that a Senate subcommittee has taken action that is less draconian but similarly misguided: Continue reading
The Republican Majority for Choice (RMC) reports that a subcommittee of the House of Representatives has voted to eliminate funding for programs for family planning and teenage pregnancy prevention. We join RMC in believing that this is a serious mistake and have set forth below the full statement by the RMC.
The program for family planning under Title X is a long-standing one, having been enacted in 1970 under President Richard Nixon. As described by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the program operates through family planning centers: Continue reading
On Monday, Jeb Bush made the long-awaited announcement that he is a candidate for President. As a matter of style, we thought it deserved an “A.” Bush spoke from a Miami college gymnasium before a crowd described by The Washington Post as a “diverse tableau at a boisterous rally.” He appeared relaxed, energetic and optimistic, the sort of joyful campaigner that he had promised to be but that had not been clearly in evidence in recent months. Toward the end of his speech, Bush turned for several moments to fluent Spanish, demonstrating that he has both the determination and the capacity to seek the increasingly important Hispanic vote. Continue reading
We offer here some brief, end-of-the-week thoughts on subjects that we’ve addressed in recent blogs. Continue reading
As most readers of RINOcracy.com may have noticed, the media have already begun to speculate on who will participate in the first debate among Republican Presidential candidates in August. (We use the term “debate” loosely because in their current form such events bear little resemblance to traditional debates and are more in the nature of forums, or verbal free-for-alls.) The speculation is prompted by the fact that the sponsor of the debate, Fox News, has decided that only the ten contenders ranking highest in opinion polls will be invited to the party.
The Fox rule is not irrational by any means. It seems reasonable to have some limitation if the proceedings are to be at all coherent and within the patience of the audience. CNN has announced that it will hold a second-tier debate on the same evening for those who are excluded from the Fox event but are polling at least 1%. It is not clear, however, which if any of the candidates will be attracted to what some have dubbed the “kids’ table.” In any case, it is clear that Fox’s main event will involve several candidates for whom RINOcracy.com has little enthusiasm and omit others from whom we would like to hear. So we thought it might be of interest to identify our own list of preferred candidates with a brief comment as to why each was included. As to those who are not on our list, we shall, for the moment, observe Ronald Reagan’s “11th Commandment” not to speak ill of other Republicans. (We do not promise to be so obedient over the next 17 months leading up to the election.) Continue reading
Part I. The Islamic State and the Search for a Strategy
In fairness, it should be acknowledged that President Obama has never, at least publicly, described his policy as “leading from behind.” The phrase originated in a 2011 article by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker and was attributed to an unidentified “adviser” to Obama, later said to be a (still unidentified) “White House official.” The phrase was initially used with respect to American strategy in Libya, but so many found it an apt description of Obama’s approach in the Middle East generally and, indeed, throughout the world that it took hold. (That etymology will remind some of Jimmy Carter’s 1979 address, which came to be widely known as his “malaise speech” although Carter never used that word, speaking rather of a “crisis of confidence.”)
In any case, it does seem to us that the President has been attempting to lead from behind both in confronting the Islamic State and in dealing with Russia’s adventurism in Europe. The essence of the strategy appears to be to limit America’s commitment, militarily and otherwise, while encouraging others to make greater commitments. This approach worked well for Tom Sawyer in getting his friends to whitewash a fence, but its application in foreign policy is far more difficult. This Part I will discuss the Islamic State and Part II will take up the situation in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Continue reading
In Rinocracy.com, we generally avoid giddy optimism, but we may have gone slightly astray in our recent Special Bulletin titled “Surprise: Republicans May Know How to Govern After All.” On the positive side, the Senate did pass and send on to the House the Trade Promotion Authority as we had urged. On the other hand, the Senate has created yet another serio-comic drama over the NSA Metadata program. And it has again settled for kicking the can down the highway in funding the Highway Trust Fund. Continue reading
As anyone with even a casual interest in politics must be aware, Jeb Bush had a difficult time last week dealing with self-inflicted wounds on the delicate subject of the Iraq invasion. It is delicate, of course, because the war is widely regarded as a disaster and one for which his brother George bears major responsibility. The first wound was inflicted on Monday when Bush apparently misheard a question and indicated that, even knowing what we now know, he would have approved the invasion. That mistake could have been quickly repaired and soon forgotten, but on Tuesday and Wednesday Bush dug the hole a bit deeper by saying that he had misheard the earlier question but was now declining to answer a “hypothetical” question. Only on Thursday did Bush get it right: “Knowing what we know now, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.” Continue reading
It is still early days, but there are some encouraging signs that Republican leaders in the Senate and House have found the ability to get things done—actually legislate—despite Democratic opposition and the Oozlums of the right gnawing at their ankles.
The first major milestone came two months ago when Republicans abandoned the quixotic attempt to block the President’s executive actions with respect to immigration. While we had disapproved of those actions, the response of holding up funding for Homeland Security seemed to us to make as much sense as treating a toothache by hitting yourself on the head with a hammer. Continue reading