Olympia Snowe: Why I’m Glad You’re Leaving the Senate

To the buckets of tears shed by the mainstream media over Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s announced decision to leave the Senate, I add my own. And, like theirs, my tears are very much of the crocodile variety. (Surely the crack editorial staffs at the New York Times and the Washington Post, realize that Snowe’s successor will very likely be a Democrat or at worst (from their point of view) a Republican as much, if not more moderate than she. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - March 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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Will We Have a ‘Fair’ Election in 2012?

The two questions GOP primary voters are trying to answer — and balance — are the same two that dominate every primary season: (1) which candidate best represents the one’s principles, and (2) which has the best chance of beating the Democrat?

But here’s a third question that no one seems to be asking: what if it doesn’t matter? Read more…

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Posted by Gene - February 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

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An Army of Magic Alexes

Given his ability to fill stadiums to this day, I think it’s fair to say that Paul McCartney remains as popular as he ever was.  Yet it’s a daunting task for any post-Baby Boomer to really appreciate how pervasive and influential McCartney’s band, the Beatles, was in the lives of those who came of age in the ’60s.  In fact, chances are that barely a week or even a day goes by during which some old Beatles song doesn’t spontaneously pop into most Boomers’ heads.  For those who lived through those times, waiting for each new song, wondering what pop masterpiece the Beatles would create next (or which stuffed shirt they would offend next), the Beatles — both their music and their public personas — are branded into Boomers’ consciousness.  We will always remember them.

On the other hand, there was another, darker, side — the business side — of the Beatles phenomenon that perhaps even the “four lovable moptops from Liverpool” themselves would like to forget. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

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Romney Denialists

Though I have yet to read anything on the Internet that caused me literally to bash my laptop computer into the nearest available hard surface, comments like this, in the comments section of a popular conservative website, come pretty close:

Oh no we won’t.  The GOP has been forcing us to choose their candidates.  No thank you.

As most of you reading this probably have already guessed, the “oh no he won’t” the commenter is vowing is that he won’t unite behind Mitt Romney should the ex-gov of Mass win the GOP nomination. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

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The Moral Hazard of Promoting Home Ownership

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, December 28, 2011.]

One of the high — or low, depending on which candidate one supports — points of the final debate before the Iowa caucuses came when Michele Bachmann let loose with both barrels on Newt Gingrich for his consulting/lobbying/whatever-the-heck-he-did-to-earn-$1.6-million-from-Freddie-Mac-and-Fannie-Mae.  To which Gingrich responded in part (emphasis mine): Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm

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Don’t Sweat the Presidency, Focus on Congress

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, December 12, 2011.]

In 1996, Joan Rivers quipped that trying to choose between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton was like “trying to pick your favorite Menendez brother.”  But today, as primary season approaches and with it, the moment when I must choose between Messrs. Romney and Not-Romney, there are days when I almost wish I could vote for a Menendez brother.  Or a Marx Brother. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

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Iran’s Maginot Line

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, November 22, 2011.]

One of the most important skills in warfare is the art of misdirection.  Like the magician who draws attention to one hand doing one thing while the other hand does another, the attacker who can beguile his enemy into diverting most of his resources to repelling an attack expected in one area, and then attack in another, gains a significant advantage.  It was the key to victory at Normandy, and, this writer would argue, our failure to attack Iran when the whole world was focused on Iraq will go down as one of history’s greatest missed opportunities.  Had we done so, needless to say and notwithstanding the anticipated howls of protest from the “international community,” we would be looking at a much safer and more stable Middle East than what we have today. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

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Make the Capital Strike Official

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, July 12, 2011.]

One factor that distinguishes the current recession from previous ones in memory is that past recessions have been coincided with a falling stock market.  That the market has virtually doubled from its low of about 6,600 in March 2009, is something on which the finance punditocracy should comment.  But today, we have a much more important, related, fiscal fish to fry. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 11:08 pm

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Why Have a Debt Ceiling?

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, January 18, 2011.]

Every Passover, Jews ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”  As Republicans in the newly-minted 112th Congress take pooper-scoopers in hand to begin cleaning the Augean Stables of the 111th Congress, one might similarly ask, “Why will the upcoming debate on raising the debt ceiling debate be different from all other debt ceiling debates?” Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

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Who Governs?

[This article originally appeared in American Thinker, December 11, 2010.]

Sledgehammers have delivered messages more subtly than the American electorate delivered theirs to President Obama and the Democrats on November 3.  “Shellacking” doesn’t even begin to describe it.  “Lunched,” a schoolyard term from my youth meaning “to render into lunchmeat,” comes closer to the mark — but no, even that doesn’t quite capture a level of voter rage that fomented a historic shift of 63 seats in the House, leaving the Dems 26 seats short of a majority. Read more…

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Posted by Gene - January 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm

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