"Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and then print the chaff, " the Illinois Democrat said.
Another Memorial Day has arrived and I again have it in mind to finally get to the end of a book I have begun reading several times but never finished. It is David Halberstam's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of how our nation got bogged down in what might be called the Q (for Quagmire) War — World War 'Nam in Southeast Asia. Before I had reached the Goldwater days of my youth, I didn't even know there was a Southeast Asia. I was hardly aware of Asia at all. But once I learned our fellow Americans were fighting Communist aggression there, the righteousness of the war appeared self-evident. In the words of a song that became a hit in the 1960s, the young men of my generation heard the sound of "Distant Drums."
I recall encountering, in the misspent days of my youth, a comic book character who had come up with an ingenious way to break the habit of eating between meals: He would simply never stop eating, in which case there would be no "between meals." Unfortunately, some have given up drinking in similar fashion. The late Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois long ago compared most alleged fiscal conservatives to reformers who cry out for temperance "in the intervals between cocktails." Little has changed since then, save perhaps the brevity and infrequency of the intervals.
Has the next shoe fallen yet? And what is the next shoe? Already our government has been warning us that a "backlash" response to the reported killing of Osama bin Laden is likely, as our enemies in terror will almost certainly seek to avenge the death of their holy martyr. They will try even harder to penetrate America's anti-terrorist defenses and inflict major damage and heavy casualties upon American people and property, CIA Director Leon Paneta has assured us.
The old cowboy-philosopher Will Rogers was fond of saying he wasn't really telling jokes, he just watched the government and reported the news. At other times, Rogers claimed to be among the nation's largest employers: "There's no trick to being a humorist," he would say, "when you've got the whole government working for you."
They are generally referred to as "talking points," but are sometimes called "marching orders." They are instructions members of Congress, or candidates for same, receive from their party's headquarters or its congressional leadership to help them stay "on message." That means not only holding on for dear life and campaign funding to the substance of the message, but also clinging even to specific words and phrases, usually tested in polls and with focus groups. It's enough to make you think "talking points" are what Edgar Bergen gave Charlie McCarthy. Or what Joe Stalin gave Franklin Roosevelt.
I don't know who coined the phrase "race to the bottom" to describe how the U.S economy is beginning to resemble that of some third world nations. But when it comes to ranking Presidents of the United States, George W. Bush appears to be winning a "race to the bottom."
Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Congressman chosen to give the "official" Republican response to the President's State of the Union address, might have been the designated funeral director, but for the fortunate fact that the patient is, remarkably, still alive. In a dark suit, seated behind his Budget Committee desk, the chairman was instead the family doctor, doing his best to appear both solemn and hopeful as he brought us the grim news. The prognosis is not good. The nation's fiscal ills, with their "crushing burden of debt," could be fatal unless we stop consuming fatty stimulus programs and high-cholesterol health care mandates and begin to exercise fiscal discipline.
It was a lie from the beginning. Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, claimed her pregnancy was a result of rape. It wasn’t. McCorvey admitted the lie years later when she came out of the closet, so to speak, and joined the pro-life movement. But the lie served the purpose of the American Civil Liberties Union, which wanted a test case to strike down the Texas law that allowed abortion only when the life of the mother was at stake. By the time the U.S. Supreme Court had worked its alchemy on the Constitution, Roe v. Wade had become the vehicle for knocking down the abortion laws of nearly every state. On January 22, 1973, the Court declared abortion a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Some 50 million aborted babies later, the big lie marches on.
While President Barack Obama was lecturing China's President Hu Jintao about human rights Wednesday, prosecutors in Philadelphia announced they had charged an abortion doctor with eight counts of murder in the deaths of one woman and seven babies. The infants were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said.