As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.
Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.
As often happens at the North Carolina General Assembly, the new fiscal year has begun with the House and Senate not yet finished with a budget-adjustment bill. Medicaid funding, teacher compensation and a few other issues continue to divide the two chambers.
The young man who answered the phone in the Senate office of Vermont's Bernie Sanders told the caller, a would-be campaign contributor, that it is illegal for funds to be accepted on federal property. He advised the person to contact Sanders' political operation, which might become a presidential campaign.
You get pulled over by police. Maybe they claim you were seven miles over the speed limit, maybe they say you made an improper lane change. Doesn't matter, because the traffic stop is only a pretext.
America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:
“Fired with enthusiasm.”
Last week I was reminded of that quote attributed to Clark Kerr, the legendary president of the multi-campus University of California. It is what he said when, shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election as governor in 1966, university regents ousted Kerr. He joked that he left the university the same way he came in, “fired with enthusiasm.”
or what it's worth, there are a few that are acceptable. You don't threaten or incite violence. You don't defame. You don't produce child pornography. And you don't falsely shout "Fire!" in the proverbial crowded theater.
After his third loss, in 1908, as the Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan enjoyed telling the story of the drunk who three times tried to enter a private club. After being tossed out into the street a third time, the drunk said: "They can't fool me. Those fellows don't want me in there!"
Another wave of bad publicity and legal questions isn’t what the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill needs. But that’s exactly what the school is getting, thanks to its longstanding and troubling use of race as a major factor in admissions.
Not since the multiplication of the loaves and fishes near the Sea of Galilee has there been creativity as miraculous as that of the Keystone XL pipeline. It has not yet been built but already is perhaps the most constructive infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System.
Is my weekly column supposed to be about books or about politics?
OK, you win. We surrender.
Senate confirmation hearings put nominees on notice that, as a Michigan state legislator reportedly once said, "I'm watching everything you do with a fine-toothed comb." Loretta Lynch, a talented lawyer and seasoned U.S. attorney, should be confirmed as attorney general. Her hearing, however, should not be perfunctory.
I’ve noted before that The Herald-Sun is about to hang its shingle in new quarters this month. As I write this mid-week, we’re on the very cusp of that move. When you read this, if all has gone well, we’ll be in our new digs – although it may be another day or so.