Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Christmas Gift for Those Who Govern


Bob Michel was greeted with a hearty round of applause when he was introduced as the special guest at the RAMS club Christmas lunch in Washington December 17.

One woman, among the room full of current and former congressional chiefs of staff, rose from her seat to give Michel a standing ovation.

As he went on with his introduction, Paul Vinovich, the RAMS Head, reminded the audience that it was also the 70th anniversary of what was the greatest battle of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge. Seventy years ago today, he said, Michel was fighting his way from Normandy Beach Continue reading

Two Cops

DEC 22 | Reprinted from

Two New York City cops, Wenjian Liu (38) and Rafael Ramos (40), were murdered Saturday afternoon sitting in their marked car parked near what in New York is known as “a project” – typically a high-rise, low cost housing structure – where they were attempting, by virtue of their visibility, to protect the residents.

That very visibility led to their deaths as a gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, walked up to the passenger side of the car, fired, and killed them both before running down into a subway entrance and shooting himself on the platform. Continue reading

Two Reminders of What Communism Looks Like

DEC 18 | Reprinted from

“I have seen the future and it is now,” the famous Soviet apologist Lincoln Steffens once wrote about the Russian revolution.

He turned out to be wrong, but I betcha most Americans don’t even know who Lincoln Steffens was, let alone what he was talking about.

Communism used to be number one thing that concerned the American people. Continue reading

Sony. All Baloney.

DEC 15 | Reprinted from  

A hundred years ago, I think during the Walkman era, Sony’s slogan was: Sony. No Baloney. My how times have changed.

You know that Sony Pictures Entertainment has been hacked big time. By big time I mean the hackers took everything: Payroll, scripts, finished movies and, to the delight of one and all, emails. Continue reading

In Praise of John Boehner, the Person Not the Politician

DEC 12 | Reprinted from Inside Sources

On any given day, you can read criticism of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. From the left, he is guilty of not leading as a result of being captive of the Tea Party contingency. From the right, the Speaker is a Republican In Name Only (RINO), ready to compromise with Democrats at the drop of a hat. From where I sit, however, John Boehner is exactly the right man for the job.

Let there be no confusion. John Boehner is a principled conservative who believes in meeting the responsibilities of governing. Sometimes that does involve compromise, but not abandoning your basic beliefs. That is not what I want to write about today. Instead, I want to spend some time on the personal qualities of John Boehner that lead me to hold him in such considerable esteem. Continue reading

Is it the Torture or the Telling?

DEC 11 | Reprinted from

The closest I have ever come to being involved with torture was during my stint in Baghdad when I made occasional visits to the infamous prison: Abu Ghraib.

I was never near any prisoners, and I had no idea what was going on in the enhanced interrogation section.

I only bring that up because when the activities there came, literally, to light my thought was: “They were trying to kill me and, if successful, they were going to come and try to kill you.” Continue reading

The Usual Suspects

Reprinted from

Originally published in The Hill

It’s the easiest story to write for the mostly younger journalists on Capitol Hill: the conservative uprising against the Republican leadership.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz hosted a press conference last week on the House side, calling for a government shutdown unless the president accepts a provision in the “cromnibus” appropriations bill that would reverse his executive order on immigration. Continue reading

GOP Gains From Focus on Spending Now, Immigration Later

Reprinted from

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank

Amid tension over funding the government past next week’s deadline, Congress has invented a term that brings back memories of the 2012 losing Republican presidential nominee–for no reason other than it rhymes with his last name.

What do you get if you combine a short-term continuing resolution with a long-term omnibus spending bill. Continue reading

Is the Grand Jury System Broken?

Reprinted from

At the demand of the British Nobility, King John included the use of Grand Juries in the Magna Carta, although Henry II had first established the process in 1066.

The Grand Jury was the way the British people put their stamp on their Justice System, taking the power to indict and convict away from the Monarchy and giving it to the citizenry. Continue reading