Monthly Archives: November 2017

The new Al Franken, Part Two

Featured image In addition to questioning Alex Azar during the confirmation hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee yesterday, Al Franken made it to the Judiciary Committee to question court of appeals nominees David Stras and Kyle Duncan. The new Al Franken was on display in that proceeding too. From the old Al Franken, one would have expected fireworks. After all, Franken held up Stras’ nomination for months by »

Liberals Attack Sen. Cotton For Wanting to Enforce the Law

Featured image Rumor has it that Rex Tillerson will soon be out as Secretary of State, to be replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The rumor holds that Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is slated to take Pompeo’s place as CIA Director. I am not sure why anyone would want to leave the Senate for the CIA; maybe Cotton is tired of having to defer to John McCain, Susan Collins et »

Kyle Duncan addresses Sen. Kennedy’s concern [UPDATED: Kennedy is a “yes”]

Featured image Kyle Duncan, President Trump’s nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday (along with Justice David Stras, a nominee for the Eighth Circuit about whom more in another post). I watched a portion of the proceedings and found both nominees to be excellent. You can watch here and judge for yourself. Sen. John Kennedy of Duncan’s home state of Louisiana has been critical »

Conservatives and Higher Education

Featured image I am long overdue in delivering a World Wrestling Federation-style smack down on Damon Linker, one of my favorite liberal writers, for a column he wrote in The Week way back in August on “The Real Reason There Are So Few Conservatives on Campus.” The piece is still prompting discussion—a rare column with a long half-life—such as Warren Treadgold’s response in Commentary recently. Let’s take Damon’s second major claim in »

The new Al Franken

Featured image The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing yesterday on President Trump’s nomination of Alex Azar to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Naturally, Azar received hostile questions from the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray. In the hour or so that I watched, the nominee, a strong conservative, acquitted himself very well. During the time I watched, Al Franken questioned Azar (at the »

Another “crowded & chaotic situation”

Featured image Emerging today from the “crowded and chaotic situations” in Al Franken’s past is Stephanie Kemplin’s story, related by CNN’s MJ Lee. It involves another grope by Franken while he and Kemplin posed for a photograph on a USO tour in December 2003. The photograph itself is innocent. Kemplin says the grope took place just before the photograph was snapped. Lee reached out to Franken’s spokesman for comment. I think I »

Kudlow speaks

Featured image Politico Money’s Ben White interviewed Larry Kudlow this week for the podcast embedded below. White noted the interview yesterday in his Morning Money column. In the interview they discussed Kudlow’s role in shaping the Trump tax plan and the wayward course it has taken on the individual side. It is a wide-ranging interview; White also asked Kudlow to recount his struggle to overcome cocaine and alcohol addictions in the early »

Trump picks top Clinton aide for key ambassador slot. Why?

Featured image President Trump has nominated Joseph McManus to be the U.S. ambassador to Colombia. McManus is an experienced diplomat, having spent 30 years in the foreign service. I don’t doubt that he’s a capable man. However, critics point out that McManus was one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides at the State Department and was deeply involved in the State Department’s initial response to the Benghazi attack. In addition, he became entangled »

How Hateful Are the Democrats? This Hateful

Featured image You can’t make this stuff up: Vogue, a reliable Democratic Party outlet, has gone crazy over First Lady Melania Trump’s White House Christmas decorations: Melania Trump unveiled the White House holiday decorations on Monday, which are, as some people on the internet have noticed, very, very white. White decorations at Christmas? The horror! No, wait, that was the Obamas in 2015. Never mind… This is truly beyond the pale: In »

The New York Times Lobbies for the Democratic Party

Featured image I’m not easily shocked these days, but what the New York Times did today was stunning. It lobbied against the Republican tax bill via Twitter. These are some of the Times editorial board’s tweets from earlier today: This morning, the Times editorial board is tweeting here to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation's fiscal health. #thetaxbillhurts — NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) »

Trump vs. Warren

Featured image Speaking of sewing confusion and mayhem amongst his enemies, Trump is getting blasted for once again calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” And the criticism is partly correct: it should be “Fauxcahontas,” but Trump often misses these subtle distinctions. But once again I wonder whether Trump isn’t going to win this fight, too, because it renews attention on what a total fraud Warren is. So much so, that even Trevor Noah »

Down Next. . . Garrison Keillor!?!?

Featured image Yesterday the angry humorist Garrison Keillor took to the pages of the Washington Post to dismiss the clamor over Al Franken as “absurd.” On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled Miss Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in LA, she goes public, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity, and »

David Stras and Kyle Duncan finally get their hearing

Featured image As I write this post, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the nominations of David Stras and Kyle Duncan to, respectively, the Eighth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit court of appeals. Sen. Amy Klobuchar just finished a gracious introduction of Judge Stras, notwithstanding their ideological differences. You can watch the proceedings on the Committee’s website. Stras and Duncan are the two nominees held up by the refusal »

Donald Trump, Feminist Hero

Featured image The firing this morning of Matt Lauer from NBC prompts me to roll back the tape this this post from last month, in which actress Amber Tamblyn said that “Honestly, I trace everything back to the election of Donald Trump. I think that without him being elected, if it had been Hillary Clinton, this would’ve never happened to Harvey Weinstein.” And if it “didn’t happen” to Weinstein, would it have happened »

The Second World Wars

Featured image Last week I noted that Time has compiled a list of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2017. While conceding I haven’t read any of them, I noted that any such list in which Hillary Clinton and Ta-Nehisi Coates place in numbers 1 and 2 is some kind of a joke. That’s what Time’s list is. I’m thinking about my own top 10 list. It certainly includes Scalia Speaks: Reflections »

Senate confirms Greg Katsas

Featured image When President Trump nominated Greg Katsas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, I called the pick a home run. But before circling the bases, you have to get to first. Katsas got to first base yesterday when the Senate confirmed him by a 50-48 vote. The tally suggests the usual (these days) straight party line vote. In fact, however, two Senators broke ranks — one »

NBC fires Matt Lauer

Featured image The sexual harassment panic has arrived at NBC’s long-running Today show, with the termination of host Matt Lauer as of last night. I pause here to take note of it only because the complaint was reportedly received Monday night. The email announcing Lauer’s termination was distributed early this morning. Whatever investigation NBC conducted following the complaint could not have lasted more than a few hours. I can’t help but wonder »