#this: Leahy Law Makes It Harder To Bring Back Our Girls

Featured image Fox News reports that American drones are scouring an area the size of West Virginia in search of the nearly 300 school girls held by an Islamist warlord. The search and any subsequent rescue attempt obviously will be difficult. But an obscure law called the Leahy Amendment makes the project more difficult than it should be. The Leahy Amendment, passed in 1997 thanks to the persistence of Sen. Patrick Leahy, »

Do the Benghazi hearings pose a political risk for Republicans?

Featured image Charles Krauthammer argues that the upcoming Benghazi hearings “are a big political risk to Republicans,” but should go forward anyway because “the country deserves the truth.” Krauthammer worries that the hearings could distract voters from major issues like Obamacare, the economy, and chronic unemployment. He also recalls that the Clinton impeachment proceedings in 1998 backfired politically. The Republicans actually lost a few House seats in the election that year, even »

Fatah-Hamas reconciliation could put Obama in a bind

Featured image Last week, as was widely reported, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced that they had agreed to reconcile and will begin discussing the formation of a unity government. The announcement caused Israel to pull out “peace” negotiations, to the relief, no doubt, of all concerned except for John Kerry and a few stray Obama administration members. The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation has potential implications beyond the demise of “peace talks” that »

The 1970s are calling

Featured image Rand Paul says he will call for the creation of a bipartisan committee to probe and reform the intelligence community. Paul wants the committee to “watch the watchers,” along the lines of the post-Watergate Church Committee in the 1970s. This idea was well-received by Berkeley students, as you would expect. The Church Committee too was very popular in leftist circles. The Church Committee was a response to serious abuses of »

Congress begins to understand the extent of Snowden’s treachery

Featured image If I were to defend John’s view that “our civilization is in a state of deep decline, from which it probably cannot recover,” I would be tempted to cite the large number of people, including many conservatives, who view Edward Snowden as other than a traitor. But that argument might be unfair because the public has no idea of the threat posed to the U.S. by Snowden’s theft, and presumed »

The Cummings confusion

Featured image Elijah Cummings is a key player in covering up and disseminating disinformation regarding the criminal misconduct of the IRS. From his perch as the ranking minority member of the House Oversight Committee, Cummings does his best to sow confusion as the committee pursues its investigation of the IRS. My daughter Eliana took a look at a piece of the Cummings story this past June in “The IRS’s best friend in »

Murray-Ryan deal heads towards finish line

Featured image The Murray-Ryan budget deal almost surely will pass the Senate, but Republicans are making supporters of the compromise sweat a little: “The struggle is still on in the United States Senate; we will need about eight Republicans to come our way. I feel we’ll have a good, strong showing from the Democratic side. But we need bipartisan support to pass it,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CBS’s “Face »

Obama looks to “the stupid party” to bail him out

Featured image According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is hopeful that the recent budget deal will change the tone in Congress and pave the way for the President’s agenda to move forward. The key element of that agenda is amnesty-based immigration reform. Other elements include raising the minimum wage, spending money on “infrastructure,” and funding early childhood education. Is the administration’s hopefulness delusional? It should be. The budget deal sailed »

Our Churchill

Featured image Dorothy Rabinowitz delivers the good news in today’s Wall Street Journal: In January of 1941, Winston Churchill dined at a Glasgow hotel with his physician, Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran ), and his secretary of state for Scotland, Tom Johnston. The other member of the party was Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s redoubtable unofficial ambassador and the American president’s most trusted adviser. Hopkins had been sent to investigate and report »

Re-use Towels? Quelle Horreur!

Featured image Anyone who travels these days has gotten used to the hotel bathroom notices about how we should all save water by re-using our towels so they don’t have to be washed.  In other words, behave like we do at home. So it must be a shock that senators and congresscritters, who are having to suffer the shutdown privation of having to push their own elevator buttons, now have to re-use »

Public blames Republicans for the shutdown, as expected

Featured image A CBS poll shows that, as most observers expected, Republicans are taking more blame for the government shutdown than Democrats. 44 percent of Americans blame congressional Republicans primarily, while 35 percent put more blame on President Obama and congressional Democrats. These views are virtually the same as they were last week before the shutdown, when Americans were asked who they would blame if a shutdown occurred. Thus, the various shutdown »

Grand bargain or grand illusion?

Featured image The word from Capitol Hill is that Speaker Boehner wants to resolve the current stalemate over the CR and the impending stalemate over the debt ceiling through a “grand bargain” on fiscal issues. Boehner reportedly has long wanted such a bargain. And now, according to NRO’s Bob Costa, “the House GOP’s most influential fiscal strategists, Dave Camp and Paul Ryan, are privately reassuring nervous Republicans that. . .a budget deal »

James Madison on the Budget Impasse

Featured image It’s a favorite parlor game: what would the Founders think of our current government, and in particular, the current budget showdown.  Jacob Heilbrunn, in typical liberal derision of the institutions of limited self-government, thinks we should abolish Congress. More likely, James Madison would not be at all surprised at what is going on.  As he wrote in Federalist #37: “It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures »

Why Obama is unlikely to compromise

Featured image President Obama has thus far refused to entertain the idea of a compromise with House Republicans that would avoid a government shutdown. From all that appears, he won’t even negotiate. The primary reason for his refusal is political. He believes that the public will place primary blame on Republicans, thereby giving his presidency and his Party some needed much needed momentum. Frankly, I think Obama is probably right about this. »

Congress: Overdrawn at the Bank of Public Opinion, Again

Featured image Last week a student presented himself in my office with a series of questions going back to the 1990s, with one in particular standing out: how the heck did Ross Perot emerge in 1992, and whatever happened to him and the populist mood he tapped into?  Realize that today’s students were barely or not yet born in 1992, so this is distant history.  The Tea Party phenomenon, of course, can »

What never? Well, hardly never

Featured image On September 18, President Obama told the Business Roundtable: You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt used to extort a president of a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt. Obama was referring to Republican attempts to use the debt »

Syria debate jeopardizes immigration reform

Featured image Several readers have asked me what effect the House’s consideration of the Syria resolution will have on immigration reform. Clearly, the Syria debate will push back House deliberation on immigration reform. But does it jeopardize, ultimately, the enactment of an immigration bill? Citing a piece in the New York Times called “Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line,” Mark Krikorian argues that the Syria debate has significantly decreased »