Monthly Archives: June 2015

Supreme Court Chumps

JUN 30 | Reprinted from

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank

It took nine decades for Congress and the states to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of U.S. senators.

It took only a few years–and a couple of months before the Supreme Court–for control of congressional redistricting to be taken away from politicians and put directly into the hands of the people. Continue reading

The Day The Earth Stood Still

JUN 29 | Reprinted from

I was very, very disappointed as I awoke Friday morning. I turned on CNN, then Fox, then MSNBC, even Bloomberg looking for some report of a flying saucer having landed on the National Mall near the Washington Monument.

I even practiced saying Klaatu barada nikto in case it missed by a little and ended up in the Potomac River at Alexandria, Virginia and I had to communicate with Gort.

After the dire predictions leading up to (a) the Congressional action on Trade Promotion Authority then the Supreme Court rulings on (b) Obamacare and (c) Freedom to Marry I thought for sure last Friday would be the day the Earth Stood Still. Continue reading

Office of Personnel Mismanagement

JUN 25 | Reprinted from

I got my letter from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) alerting me that I might/could/probably/was included in the 4/8/18/32 million records that are now being pored over like the White House travel staff’s in Hillary Clinton’s office.

The U.S. government believes the Chinese government is behind this.

The hack that was originally reported by the Democratic Administration of President Barack Obama included the social security numbers, dates of birth and – for all we know our mothers’ maiden names – of people who not only worked in some branch of the federal government, but had ever applied for a job with some branch of the federal government. Continue reading

Confederate Battle Flag Belongs in Museum

JUN 23 | Reprinted from

It’s easy for me to say it.

I am from Illinois. I was taught, growing up, that Abe Lincoln was America’s greatest President and that the Civil War was a noble cause to keep the Union together and to rid the nation of the ugly stain of slavery.

So, for me, it’s a no-brainer. The Confederate Battle Flag belongs in a museum, not outside any State Capitol.

I am a history buff, so I actually think the Rebel flag is an interesting item for the museum.

The flag itself is visually attractive. Continue reading

Dylann Roof

JUN 22 | Reprinted from

I don’t want to add to the blathering and hand wringing over what happened when Dylann Roof killed nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

But, we can’t help but wonder how a 21-year-old man – barely a man – could get to a place in his head that not only made his act possible, but apparently made it inevitable.

I don’t want to play politics with this. I am a member of the NRA and will continue to be one, but background checks for all types of firearms are hard to argue with. I have a pistol. It’s locked inside a heavy plastic container with a trigger lock inside of that. I am (or was) a pretty good shot. Continue reading

Charleston: Lessons to Be Learned

JUN 22 | Reprinted from The Screaming Moderate (

The killings in South Carolina have produced many human emotions, some expected, some unexpected.

The unexpected are what struck me the most. First, let me say, this was a, premeditated, horrible mass murder for reasons we all know – the racist basis for them, the chilling shooter sitting in the Bible Study group an hour before pulling out his gun and killing everyone there except one he wanted as a witness to his killings, to the cold, empty eyes we’re becoming too accustomed to seeing when photos of these killers are published. Continue reading

On the Coming Encyclical of Pope Francis on Climate Change

JUN 17 | Reprinted from

I like Jeb Bush and I want him to be President.

But when he says about the Pope’s coming encyclical on climate change, “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm,” he is being completely disingenuous.

And despite Jesus’s admonition to “Give what belongs to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and that which belongs to God to God,” the idea that the Pope should butt out of issues like climate change is nonsense. Continue reading

Causeway Gate

JUN 11 | Reprinted from

The New York Times, last week, published an article detailing the driving record of Florida Senator Marco Rubio and his wife. According to the article, “A review of records dating back to 1977 shows that the couple had a combined 17 traffic violations: Mr. Rubio with four and his wife with 13.”

As you can imagine, that set off a firestorm in the Twitterverse with numerous examples of combining disparate numbers to arrive at a large total.

If I had joined in, my Tweet might have been: “Boone Pickens and I have about a billion dollars in assets.” Continue reading

Friends for Life, But Then Life Ends


“Who were these guys?” I thought. “And what were they doing here?”

It was a cold January day in 1977, the second of January to be exact. The two other guys were sitting in overstuffed leather chairs in Room 2112 in the Rayburn House Office building just across the street from the U.S. Capitol.

The three of us were meeting for the first time. We were brought together as part of the new leadership staff of the freshly minted Republican Whip in the House, Bob Michel of Illinois. We were all recruited by Michel’s chief of staff, Ralph Vinovich, who cut his political teeth on the staff of the venerable Senator from Illinois, Everett Dirksen. At the time, Michel represented the changing of the guard in Republican leadership. It was, yet again, time for new beginnings, for all of us. Continue reading

Soft on Crime Begets More Crime

JUN 2 | Reprinted from

You don’t have to be a sociologist or a criminal studies major to figure this out. The headlines are pretty stark.

In the NY Times:

Shootings in New York City have been rising for two straight years, the first time that has happened since the end of the 1990s, when the city was still in the early years of a remarkable downturn in crime. Continue reading