The Wall Street Journal’s hatchet job on Ted Cruz

Ted CruzI’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Ted Cruz. I realize he’s not perfect, but no candidate is. What matters to me is that his political values most closely align with mine, that he’s not scared of a fight (and, especially, he’s not scared of the media), and that he is truly smarter than just about everyone else out there. I learned yesterday, though, that Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal most definitely does not like Cruz. She wrote a savage hit piece on him essentially blaming him for ISIS’s ability to spread throughout the United States. (That spread, of course, has nothing to do with Obama’s open borders policy and the contempt he shows for every person and idea that suggests that Islam might have a problem.)

But before honing in on her perception about Cruz’s alleged security failures, Strassel first lambastes him as a rank opportunist who cares only about self-aggrandizement and refuses to take care of the GOP’s needs:

The senator’s supporters adore him because they see him in those moments when he has positioned himself as the hero. To them he is the stalwart forcing a government shutdown over ObamaCare. He’s the brave soul calling to filibuster in defense of gun rights. He’s the one keeping the Senate in lame-duck session to protest Mr. Obama’s unlawful immigration orders.

Mr. Cruz’s detractors see a man who engineers moments to aggrandize himself at the expense of fellow conservatives. And they see the consequences. They wonder what, exactly, Mr. Cruz has accomplished.

ObamaCare is still on the books. It took the GOP a year to recover its approval ratings after the shutdown, which helped deny Senate seats to Ed Gillespie in Virginia and Scott Brown in New Hampshire. Mr. Obama’s immigration orders are still on the books. The courts gained a dozen liberal judges, all with lifetime tenure, because the lame-duck maneuver gave Democrats time to cram confirmation votes through. Mr. Cruz’s opportunism tends to benefit one cause: Mr. Cruz.

So it’s Cruz’s fault we have Obamacare and it’s his fault because . . . he took a principled stand against it?  (I admired that stand when he took it and I still do.) The fact is that Cruz is one of the few Republicans in Congress who actually stood by the party planks and actual promises he and other alleged conservatives made to voters since 2008. He is the only one in Congress on the right who shows the slightest bit of spine. So when Strassel writes, “but Obamacare is still on the books,” the real question shouldn’t be “How do we blame Ted Cruz?”  Instead, the real question should be “How did this happen when Republicans control Congress and the purse strings?”

Strassel’s claim that, following Cruz’s principled stand, it took Republicans “a year to recover,” is patently ridiculous. Republicans have enjoyed greater electoral success in the past six years than the party ever has — and she is going to blame defeats in Virginia and Massachusetts on Cruz. That is infuriating.

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The Bookworm Beat 11-5-15 — Guy Fawkes edition, Part 2

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve still got a few more things I want to share with you tonight, so consider this Part 2 for the day (with Part 1 here).

The coming (and inevitable) Leftist implosion

Every time I read a Kevin Williamson article, I like his writing and thinking just a little bit more. In one of his latest outings, about the inevitable fissures on the Left (as exemplified by (1) the way Black Lives Matters activists are attacking old, white Bernie and Hillary, and (2) the way the black/Hispanic majority in very Leftist Houston nevertheless voted down men in women’s restrooms), Williams has the following wonderful lines:

The challenge for the Left is that while the Republican party is mainly a coalition of ideologies, the Democratic party is mainly a coalition of interest groups, and the current model of Democratic politics — poor and largely non-white people providing the muscle and rich white liberals calling the shots — is unsustainable. The social attitudes of non-white voters are pretty plainly not those of white liberals, and, at the same time — and probably more significant — the economic interests of white liberals are pulling away from those of the people in whose interest they purport to act. Hispanic immigrants and urban blacks make below-average wages; public-school administrators and other government employees make wages that are well above average. There aren’t a lot of people in Cleveland’s Glenville who give a fat furry rat’s patootie how much interest Caitlyn from Bryn Mawr is paying on the student loans that financed her women’s-studies degree. If you’re wondering why Democrats lean so deeply into the racial rhetoric — Joe Biden’s shameful “They want to put y’all back in chains!” etc. — that’s a big part of your answer.

Rich Lowry’s article nails why I don’t trust Rubio

Marco Rubio is bright, articulate, focused, conservative, and telegenic. I ought to like him . . . but I just don’t. I’ve been pfumphering around for a while trying to put my finger on my problem with him and I think it really does boil down to his support for amnesty:

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I support Ted Cruz for President

Ted CruzI’ve now had some time to consider the top Republican contenders for next year’s presidential election, and I’ve decided that nothing has changed my mind in the past few months — I still like Ted Cruz best. Based on what I perceive are the strengths and weaknesses of the various candidates, Ted Cruz comes out at the top.

Before I walk you through my thinking, please believe that I don’t mean to denigrate the other people vying for the nomination. They all have their strengths and, to a man (and woman) I can see why they have their supporters. I just think that, in the long run, Cruz has the most to offer, as well as the most carefully crafted path to victory.

In no particular order, here’s what I think of the other candidates who are still registering as blips on the radar:

Donald Trump: I totally understand the passion Trump’s followers feel for him. After decades of seeing Republicans run scared before the Leftist media, Trump doesn’t run. He doesn’t pussy foot around with political correctness and sides with Americans on deeply felt issues, especially the complete breakdown of sovereignty at the Southern border, something that exposes us to economic damage, terrorism, and the loss of our American identity. I wish the other candidates would show his fearless courage before the press. Having said that, I could not vote for Trump in a primary because too many of his economic and social views are indistinguishable from the Democrats’ views, including his support for varying types of crony fascism. I acquit him of hypocrisy. I think that he’s careless with his ideas and leads with his emotions, two things that would be disastrous in a nation’s chief executive. He’s also vindictive and hypersensitive, and we’ve had enough of that with Obama.

Carly Fiorina: The woman has balls and I love her for that. She’s incredibly quick thinking and, unlike Trump, she won’t back down. She also has a virtue Trump lacks: rather than just being reactive, she can articulate core conservative principles, which makes her an invaluable person for the conservative cause. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, while conservatives have some of the best and most articulate thinkers around, Newt Gingrich has been the only articulate, principled conservative since Reagan — and Reagan’s been gone from the political scene for almost 30 years, while poor Newt was savaged by ostensible friends and real foes alike.  She’s good Veep material, though, although that may be a political dead-end for a genuine political talent.

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The Bookworm Beat 10-14-15 — the hot quick links edition, and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265So much to share with you, and so many demands on my time. I’ll make it quick, tantalizing you with short links to wonderful things:

We know the other media outlets are hostile to Israel, but is it possible that Fox News is also turning on Israel? CAMERA has caught it doing exactly the same thing as CNN or the BBC — blaming Israel, the only pluralist, democratic, modern, humanitarian country in the region for the ferocious, malignant, blindly hate-filled upsurge in terrorism unleashed against ordinary Israelis. (As you know, a Saudi owns a significant share in Fox TV. Israel’s friends have long been concerned that this might affect Fox’s objectivity with regard to Israel. I’m not saying that this ownership explains Fox’s slip-ups, though. I just note the ownership in passing.)

Here’s the deal:  When Fox News and John Kerry are agreed about something, you know that (a) Fox is in error and (b) there’s the possibility that something is very, very, very wrong over at Fox.

For those who like stories about dystopian futures, Richard Fernandez has a humdinger, imagining the year 2030 in a world lost to Obama’s foreign policies.

Just this past weekend, a national conference for teachers and administrators convened in Baltimore to discuss what’s really wrong with America’s education system. If you thought they were focusing on fatherless families, union depredations on school districts and students, and meaningless, politically correct education, you thought wrong. It’s you — you, the white person over there, hiding in the corner — who is what’s wrong with education. Zombie explains what’s going on, but you’d have to be crazy or a Leftist really to understand the dynamic.

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#GOPDebate — one person’s score card on the candidates’ debating chops

CNN GOP DebateI was in the hospital taking care of a sundowning mom, so I forgot about the debate entirely. My anonymous friend, though, watched and sent me some impressions. Please note that he was remarking upon their debate performance and not on each person’s general merits as a candidate:

I’ve been watching the debate. As a threshold matter, I find that I prefer Jake Tapper to the now thankfully absent Candy Crowley.

Fiorina looked really good. She’s gotten the big applause lines on several issues and she was loaded for bear when Trump brought up her time as CEO of HP. Jake Tapper treated her pretty poorly actually, repeatedly cutting her off more so than he did with the other candidates. She also brought up a point I didn’t know. Trump has declared bankruptcy four times. Wow. And yet the bastard is a billionaire. He really is slimy.

Dr. Carson . . . not too good on foreign policy. He sounds quite weak.

Rubio . . . very strong foreign policy chops and good on gun laws / 2nd Amendment.

It was slimy watching most of them try to claim some special connection to 9-11 to burnish their commander in chief / foreign policy chops. As I left the room for a moment, I swear that I heard Trump claim that his time at a military high school gave him more military experience than all of the other candidates. I’ll check later whether I imagined that line.

Mike Huckabee looked real good when he got a chance to speak.

Cruz is not getting asked enough questions. He sounds good when he answers but he could stand to be a bit more aggressive and interrupt more.

Tuesday night stuff (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few quick links I don’t want to leave on the table before I head down to my perpetual motion machine for the rest of the evening.

Earlier today, I bought a Mark Steyn gift certificate to help fund his legal battle against Michael Mann, a man who rejoices under the title of being a scientist, but is in fact a First Amendment terrorist. Not too long after that, I read Dennis Prager’s article about Bryan Stow. Living in the Bay Area, I had heard about Stow, a SF Giants fan beaten almost to death by some L.A. Dodger’s fans. In the intervening years, I hadn’t realized that his injuries were so devastating. I also didn’t know until today that the men who did this to him got off with prison sentences equal to a slap on the hand — sentences that made them smirk happily when handed down. Please consider donating to the Bryan Stow fund. I did, and only regret that I hadn’t done so sooner.


When Victor Davis Hanson is good, he’s really, really good. He’s all that in his post about the Bizarro World of Barack Obama’s presidency, in which every manifest failure is presented to Americans as a glowing success. Lincoln famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” He was wrong. We live in a P.T. Barnum world, where there’s a sucker born every minute — and they’re all supporting Barack Obama and his administration.


No link here, just an observation: I was speaking to my fairly apolitical sister about political correctness, education trends, national security, etc. I asked her, “Am I so exercised about this stuff because I’m an old fogey, like the old Yorkshire men famous for beginning each sentence by saying ‘When I were a lad,’ or has the world really gotten weird lately?” She answered, “It’s gotten really weird. The changes are fast and they are strange.”


It’s not just that Andrew Malcolm wrote a good article about Barack Obama’s myriad foreign policy failures and the disdain in which this Nobel Prize winner is held around the world. It’s also the side by side photos of presidents Bush and Obama with the Dalai Lama. It makes me steam to think that, probably without exception, the Dalai Lama’s supporters voted for Obama. I’m not a fan of the Dalai Lama who, despite China’s constant depredations against his land, has announced that he’s a Marxist, meaning he’s dumb as a post, but I do admire his steadfast fight for his country’s independence (a fight he apparently carries out so that his country, too, can become a large socialist workers gulag). And yes, that was one of the longest sentences I’ve ever written, but I kept my clauses in nice order.


If the name Margalit Fox is familiar to you, it’s because you pay attention to the bylines on New York Times obituaries. In my humble opinion, the New York Times obituary section is the only section in that paper worth reading — and what makes it worthwhile in significant part is Fox’s delightful writing. Knowing what a good writer she is, I didn’t think twice about picking up The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code when I saw that she was the author. My instincts were good. Fox brings to life the decades’ long (and eventually successful) effort to decipher the Linear B writing found at Knossos, home of the many King Minoses and the famous Minotaur. I’m halfway through the book, and am finding it difficult to put it down.


If the Thomas Jefferson quotation at Doug Ross’s site is apocryphal, please don’t tell me. I want to believe it’s real. (No, I take that back. Intellectual honesty matters more than wishful thinking.)


I’ve never managed to be that thrilled by Sen. Marco Rubio. I think with a bit of time at his back, he’ll be something wonderful, but right now he’s not quite all that — except that is, when it comes to ripping apart old Leftists and their sorry love affair with Cuba. That fire is the promise that he can become a great statesman, although he isn’t one yet.


Speaking of statesmen, I’m beginning to put more and more faith in Scott Walker as a serious potential presidential candidate. If the worst that the Democrat attack dogs can come up with about him as that, back in college in the late 1980s, he announced in advance that he was running for student body president, rather than waiting until the official announcement day to do so, the media is going to have to work hard to discredit him. Add the lack of bad stuff to all the major good stuff in Wisconsin, and you’ve got Candidate Squeaky-Clean-and-Principled. Indeed, my only complaint about him will be the fact that he’s younger than I am. How in the world did it happen that I got to be older than the guys running for president? (Obama is only a month younger than I am, so that doesn’t count.)


Islamists kill. That’s what they do. And they especially love killing children because, even for psychopaths, soft targets (baby-soft targets) are the best. Or maybe I mean “especially for psychopaths.” Regardless, even as these monsters continue to array themselves in ever greater numbers against the West, our administration announces that it’s going to shrink the Army back to its 1930 size. We saw, of course, how well that worked back in the day.


This is what Obamacare is all about (from a son’s WSJ article about Obamacare’s death sentence for his mother):

[T]here is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother’s old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death.


The “Affordable” Care Act is a brutal, Procrustean disaster. In principle, it violates the irreducible particularity of human life, and in practice it will cause many individuals to suffer and die. We can do better, and we must.


Sultan Knish makes a point that is obvious only in retrospect, after having read his post: just as raw power isn’t concentrated in corporations’ hands but is, instead, concentrated in a centralized government’s hands, so too is wealth concentrated, not in corporations or amongst a wealthy few, but in a centralized, socialized or semi-socialized government’s pocket.

At CPAC, Dr. Ben Carson comes out swinging against President Obama

It turns out that, when Dr. Ben Carson gently chided President Obama’s policies during the National Prayer Breakfast, he was holding back. When he gave a speech CPAC, where he could freely speak his mind, Dr. Carson was more direct: If a hypothetical “somebody” in the White House “wanted to destroy this nation,” he would “coincidentally” do exactly what Obama has already done.

In the lead-up to his stunning accusation against Obama, Dr. Carson repeated a point he made during the National Prayer breakfast, which is that the national debt, standing alone, is well on its way to destroy America:

We’re reacting to what we see as our fiscal woes without planning for the future, without really caring about what is happening to the next generation. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to understand that if we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy our nation.

It was clear that he next intended to imagine what a good presidency would look like. After his first sentence, though, the audience response was so strong that he realized he would have to use a different way to address the issue of White House leadership:

Let’s say you if you could magically make it into the White House (interrupted by wild and sustained applause at the thought of Dr. Carson in the White House). I take it back!

Rather than discuss what a good presidency would look like, Dr. Carson asked the audience to think about a bad, destructive presidency and how it would play out:

But let’s say somebody was there and they wanted to destroy this nation. What would you do? Let me tell you what I would do. First of all, I would create division among the people. I would have everybody pitted against each other because a wise man by the name of Jesus once said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” And then I would encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country. And then I would undermine the financial stability of the country, and drive us so far into debt that there was absolutely no chance that it could recover. And I would weaken the military and destroy the morale of the military. That’s what I would do and I guarantee you it would work. Now, the question is, it appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now. And the question is, How do we stop it. Can we stop it?

In that simple hypothetical, Dr. Carson managed to sum up every domestic policy that the Obama administration, working with a Democrat legislature, has enacted: a White House that colludes with the media to harass, demean, insult, and misrepresent every conservative person or conservative idea; a massive stimulus that benefited only preferred political players, followed by constantly rising government expenditures; and fundamental changes to the military by allowing homosexuals to serve openly and women to serve in combat units.

It’s unclear whether Dr. Carson, who has never held political office, is ready simply to dive into the White House in 2016. That’s not really important. What is important is that Dr. Carson is one more reminder that the up-and-coming generation of politically active conservatives has young stars – people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Ben Carson — who will reach their political peak in waves that wash over every election in the next sixteen years.

(Written by Bookworm; first published at Mr. Conservative)

Random links to interesting things

I hate cooking.  That’s not hyperbole.  Restaurants are a constant temptation, but I resist because, during my young lawyer days, I spent way too much of my money on restaurants.  With college and old age to plan for, I can’t eat out whenever I like — which is every night.  So here’s one good thing about ObamaCare:  it’s looking as if it’s going to remove temptation from my life.  Restaurants, which run at the thinnest possible margins, cannot afford full-time employees anymore.  Further, given the low pay at restaurants anyway, coupled with the requirement that the uninsured buy insurance, it’s likely that no one will be able to afford part-time work at restaurants.

“How dumb do you think I am?”  We’ve all asked that question at one time or another when someone was getting a little too freewheeling in pulling the wool over our eyes.  Ralph Peters asks precisely that question of a White House that has lied consistently — and quite badly — since the Benghazi attacks on September 11.  It seems as if Obama’s compulsive lying is affecting the entire executive branch.  That’s no surprise, since an organization’s behavior always begins at the top.

I’m not the only one who realized that Obama statement that Israel has the right to defend herself was only a prelude to undermining her once again.  Smarter minds than mine, equipped with more facts and greater analytical ability, have reached the same conclusion.

Is Jake Tapper the last true journalist in America?  He’s objective, almost obsessively non-partisan, rigorous, inquisitive, and a very good writer.  It sounds as if his new book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, is a very good thing indeed.

Why does Marco Rubio’s opinion about the earth’s age matter to his political abilities?  It doesn’t — or, rather, it doesn’t unless you’re the MSM trying to set him up as an ignorant fundamentalist who wants American to remake America in a 10th century model (or, in other words, like an Islamist sharia nation).  Ace isn’t sure if Rubio gave the right answer to the question, but I believe Rubio gave the best answer he could.  In future, though, he should have a quip ready to deflect the question.  I’m not good at quips, but you all should see if you can think of any.

And speaking of quips, over at the Watcher’s Council Forum, we Watcher’s tackle an important question:  Are Comedians And Comedy Less Funny Today Than They Used To Be?

New Romney Medicare ad

I think this is an excellent ad, with Rubio saying the things that Romney, when stumping, just can’t seem to say:

I’m like Rubio — I have an elderly mother who is now entirely dependent on Medicare. If the current system goes broke in the near future, she and I are both in trouble. As for me, I can wait 20 years for a revamped Medicare, and plan for it too.

King Obama’s executive fiat on illegal immigration — Open Thread

I assume that you all know by know that President Obama has issued an executive order granting amnesty to young illegal immigrants.  It’s a clever move.  Marco Rubio had already proposed something similar, so Obama can say that at least some smart Republicans are already on board with the idea.  The move will presumably cement Hispanic voters to his side, which could be a very big deal in Florida, where some Jewish voters are looking askance at Obama.  Any Republican objections will be touted as Republican racism.

There are some downsides, though.  Congress might get testy at having Obama’s challenge to its authority.  The question is whether Democrats in Congress will be sufficiently testy to challenge their President in an election year.  My guess is that they will not, so the only “nay” voices will come from Republicans — who will then be charged with covert racism that they’re hiding behind a thin procedural screen.  Never mind the Constitution, of course.  Only racists care about that document anyway.

There are two demographics, though, as to which Obama might have been too smart by half:  blacks and unions.  As to both, cheap Hispanic labor is a threat.  In a time of seemingly intractable unemployment, for Obama to pour new competition into the market, rather than to create new jobs, might be a mistake.  I’m sure, though, that the Obama-ites have already examined this problem and concluded that any potential black voter or union hemorrhage is more than offset by increases in Hispanic votes.

I said in the post caption that this is an Open Thread and I meant it.  What’s your take?