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Jeremiah Denton for the Ages



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Whenever you read about our Vietnam POWs, you are awestruck by their struggle for their humanity every minute — endeavoring to communicate with one another by every means possible, trying to smuggle a tiny scrap of soap back to their cells, and, of course, doing their utmost to give as little to the North Vietnamese as possible under horrific torture. In my column today, I call Jeremiah Denton’s affirmation of his loyalty to his government below — while famously blinking Morse code for the word “torture” — one of the great statements of defiance in American history. He had been tortured beforehand and would be tortured for his temerity afterwards, and he knew it. 

What can you say of such a man? Commenter Randy Kaplan puts it well: 

A supremely courageous hero, a brilliant soldier, a magnificent leader, a moral beacon, a true champion of freedom, a man of the profoundest wisdom, grace, and humility. Men like Jeremiah Denton come along only a couple of times each generation; events shape the lives, acts, and influence that such great men may have. Few ever fulfilled their destiny as splendidly as Jeremiah Denton, Jr. We may not see his like again, and we are the poorer for that, but so rich for the memories we do have. Rest in peace.

Mozilla Employees Call for CEO to be Fired for Donating to Prop 8 Campaign



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As Maggie Gallagher noted on the Corner, thousands have signed a petition calling for new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich to either openly endorse gay marriage or be fired.

Six years ago, Eich donated $1,000 to the successful Proposition 8 campaign that created a constitutional amendment preserving the traditional definition of marriage in California. Eich, who is famous for creating JavaScript, was a co-founder of Mozilla and was appointed CEO after having served as Mozilla’s chief technology officer since 2005.

Since Thursday, several Mozilla employees have called for Eich to resign because of his view on marriage. A few took to Twitter to publicize their opinions:

OkCupid, a popular dating site, posted a message to those who access the site with Mozilla Firefox, urging users to switch to another browser because Eich is “an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” as the message said. It continued: “OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

Those who still wished to use Firefox to access OkCupid were able to do so.

Eich responded to criticism in a blog post on March 26 in an attempt to allay any concerns that Mozilla is not an inclusive place. “I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion,” he wrote. “You will see exemplary behavior from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products.”

Eich did not renounce his support of traditional marriage in his blog.

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The Left’s Strange Obsession With Evangelical Creationism



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No one thinks about creationism more than the secular Left. 

I’ve been reminded of this fact while watching leftist coverage of Fox’s series “Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey.” With each body-blow to young-earth creationism, lefty writers cheer like WWE fans watching a compilation of John Cena highlights. Here’s Mother Jones, for example:

To be a Young Earth creationist is to hold a truly unique place in the history of wrongness. These religious ideologues don’t just deny human evolution; their belief in a universe that is only a few thousand years old commits them to an enormity of other errors, including many beliefs that fly in the face of modern physics.

Last night’s episode of Cosmos, devoted to explaining the nature of space, time, and the speed of light, presented a stunning case in point. For as host Neil deGrasse Tyson explained, if creationists were right about the extreme youth of the universe, then we wouldn’t even be able to see the vast majority of the stars in the sky. The Hubble Space Telescope? Not a very worthwhile investment.

As a lifelong Evangelical (actually, I grew up in a quite fundamentalist church before leaving after college ultimately to join a Reformed denomination), I look at this obsession as a symbol of leftist ignorance of Evangelical culture. Yes, if you ask most Evangelicals what they believe about the age of the earth and the origin of the universe, they’re going to side with the more literal interpretation of the Genesis story. But I would describe this as a “soft” or low-priority belief. Whether the Earth is a few thousand years old or several billion isn’t fundamental to their understanding of the Bible, the world, or their faith. It’s simply their default position. 

I’ve never been a young-earth creationist, and I have not once encountered serious push-back or anger from fellow Christians, just curiosity. It’s something to talk about once we’ve exhausted, say, our analysis of why the Southeastern Conference is the finest college football conference in the land (but really, can that topic ever be exhausted?) To be sure, a small number of Christians fiercely and zealously defend the young-earth position, but their influence is vastly overstated by secular journalists who need them more than the church does. In fact, in 45 years of life I can remember exactly one in-pulpit presentation of the young-earth position. By contrast, I can remember countless statements to the effect that a position on the age of the earth isn’t an indispensable element of the Christian faith.

One suspects that the Left hopes to find the magic scientific bullet that will cripple faith and expose the faithful as fools. If they hope to accomplish this, I suggest they change topics. I can think of few better (short) expressions of overall Evangelical belief about the creation than Mike Huckabee’s response when asked about evolution in a CNN debate in the 2008 election cycle. (Really CNN? A question about evolution in a presidential debate?) Watch his response and ask yourself whether the show “Cosmos” or any other triumphant discussion of the speed of light or any other scientific proof of the earth’s age is ultimately relevant to a Christian’s faith in his Creator:

Web Briefing: April 18, 2014

Oh the Humanity! On the Borders of Inhumanity



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An English woman, Caroline Farrow (who is with Catholic Voices there), was spat at leaving at TV studio over the weekend. As David Cameron declared “love is love” in welcoming same-sex marriage to the country, Farrow responded to a moderator’s invitation to merely say a few words in defense of a traditional view of marriage, for which she has been mocked, ridiculed, and threatened since. 

Obviously, laws have and are changing and in no small part on account of decades of misuse and abuse and neglect of love and marriage and family. Our words are in tangles, as are so many lives, with so many looking in the chaos for love and some semblance of security and identity and purpose.

But surely one can wish a brother well and still propose something else for what works, what has worked, what makes sense.

Surely we can disagree? If you’re shouting down a wife and mother who dares to voice an opinion that is not in season and calling her an intolerant bigot, consider that you might not be a victim but a bully.

On Friday I read something in an e-mail from Salvo magazine, which includes an excerpt from a longer interview with Princeton professor Robert P. George. I think it’s helpful:

To refuse to affirm a lifestyle, or to say that it is morally wrong, is not a crime. Rather it an exercise of moral conscience. To attempt to force someone to subvert their moral conscience is not activism. It is evil. That’s a moral judgment on my part, made not from hatred but from, I pray, a godly fear of evil–and a love of the good. We must never surrender, but rather overcome evil with good.

Marriage is vital to society. It’s vital to children, linking them, whenever possible, to their mother and father. That can’t always be. But it makes sense. In a marriage between a man and woman there is a unity other couplings cannot replicate. These are facts. You may not think them important or compelling, but we can still discuss them. Can’t we? Love involves wanting the best for another. Can we still pursue and propose without hate disguised as love?

One activist supporting the new day for “marriage” writes:

We must use our skills and energy to make sure homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are eradicated from our schools, our streets, ours sports fields, our workplaces, our churches and our homes. 

Eradicating hate, yes. But this is something else. This is eradicating a point of view about men and women and children and family – that the progressive president of the United States claimed to subscribe to — from discussion. That’s not good for anyone. You may disagree that the uniqueness of marriage — as between one man and one woman, open to life, till death to us part — is essential for society to uphold and nurture. But if it’s possible it’s true, wouldn’t it be prudent to slow down and at the very least let those people who believe it do better at living it and showing their children how?

Today Cardinal O’Malley and some other Catholic bishops will celebrate Mass along the Arizona-Mexico border where 6,000 people have died since 1998. They do so in the spirit of Pope Francis’ visit to Lampedusa last summer. The fundamental issue the pope has been trying to drive home to people is one of love. Once you’re okay with casting aside anyone, you’re contributing to a throwaway culture, to a culture of death. There will be disagreements (many here!), but at the point where a political issue is just a political issue and we’re indifferent to the pain of another human being, we’ve lost a moral pillar that upholds civil society. A little indifference can go a long way toward disregard for a fellow man’s life and make it a whole lot easier to shout down — and spit at — a mother voicing her opinion. It leads to a posture where you believe your opinion can trump another man’s freedom because your position happens to be favored by those in political and cultural power. That’s slouching toward tyranny and we can help ourselves.

As with a meeting last week between the pope and the president, we co-opt or dismiss today’s Mass at our souls’ risk. It’s not about party politics but the blood of men. And for the Christians among us, that’s no illegal, he’s my brother. If we know that, we’re less likely to look away, and more likely to have policymakers and civil servants and ministers and neighbors who are trying to help lift people up and flourish.

That’s what your sister at Question Time is trying to do, too. Disagree, but a little debate about human life and love can’t be bad, as long as we all have the same goal: the good.  

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Goldwater Statue for Capitol’s Statuary Hall Unveiled



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Barry Goldwater is headed back to Washington: A statue of the late Arizona senator and Republican presidential nominee will soon grace the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, after a few months in Phoenix, the city of which he once served on the city council.

Arizona officials revealed the new 8-foot bronze statue at a ceremony on Monday. The legislature voted in 2008 to make Goldwater one of the state’s two submissions to the national statuary collection; every state is allowed two statues that represent their history.

“If there is one person who symbolizes Arizona in its first 100 years of statehood, that would be Barry Goldwater,”​ said state senator Adam Driggs, who proposed the legislation to add Goldwater after a tour of the Capitol years ago, during the event.​ Goldwater would do a better job than the current statues — 17th-century Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Kino and mining executive John Campbell Greenway, who died in 1926 — at representing the state’s modern history, he said.

The Goldwater statute will replace Greenway later this year after it spends the next few months at the Arizona State Capitol’s museum.

Goldwater would be the latest addition to the statuary collection after Iowa brought in Nobel Peace Prize–winning agriculture researcher Norman Borlaug last month, replacing former senator James Harlan.

Chris Matthews Compares GOP Governors to Prostitutes



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Chris Matthews blasted the handful of 2016 Republican hopefuls who met with Sheldon Adelson over the weekend in Las Vegas as part of the annual Republican Jewish Coalition meeting, and likened the meeting to hookers vying for a john.

“Vegas used to be known for a lot of prostitution out there, and I was thinking prostitution seems to have made a comeback this week with all this ‘choose me’ action,” the MSNBC host said on his show on Monday.

Politico’s Ken Vogel later chimed in to say potential candidates, such as New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, now need to find a “sugar daddy” like Adelson.

Chevron vs. Patton Boggs



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Chevron, having shown in court that a rogue’s gallery of environmental activists, lawyers, and political hacks engaged in a criminal conspiracy to shake it down for billions of dollars, is now on the counterattack, going after the prestigious (and, today, struggling) Washington law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs. From the Hill:

Chevron alleged that lawyers at Patton Boggs helped cover up fraudulent evidence in a lawsuit in Ecuador and filed a motion in May seeking the go-ahead to sue the firm for its work representing Ecuadorians affected by oil drilling in the country.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday dismissed Patton’s claim that Chevron “delayed unreasonably” in bringing the charges and said the firm’s other arguments against the complaint were “without merit.”

Chevron is seeking rewards for “compensatory damages” and “punitive damages” for an “amount to be proven in trial,” plus attorney fees, according to court documents.

As Judge Kaplan put it in his earlier ruling: “This case is extraordinary. The facts are many and sometimes complex. They include things that normally come only out of Hollywood — coded emails among [lead plantiffs' attorney Steven] Donziger and his colleagues describing their private interactions with and machinations directed at judges and a court appointed expert, their payments to a supposedly neutral expert out of a secret account, a lawyer who invited a film crew to innumerable private strategy meetings and even to ex parte meetings with judges, an Ecuadorian judge who claims to have written the multibillion dollar decision but who was so inexperienced and uncomfortable with civil cases that he had someone else (a former judge who had been removed from the bench) draft some civil decisions for him, an 18-year old typist who supposedly did Internet research in American, English, and French law for the same judge, who knew only Spanish, and much more.” 

I suppose it is chauvinistic of me to say, but the corruption of institutions in Ecuador does not surprise me that much — while the corruption on the U.S. end of the case is truly shocking. If this ends in anything less than prison time for the worst of the malefactors, justice will not have been served. 

Wasserman Schultz: No ‘Glaring’ Problem with Obamacare to Fix



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There may be problems with Obamacare, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t think of any when put on the spot.

On MSNBC on Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman repeatedly evaded offering any fixes to the controversial health-care law. While she conceded “there are going to be issues that arise around the margins” of Obamacare, Wasserman Schultz refused to acknowledge any Republican proposal to correct the problems.

“There’s no specific bill right now,” she told Chuck Todd.

Todd pressed her multiple times to provide just one fix she supports. “What is one? You don’t have one that’s on your radar screen?” he asked

“That comes to mind immediately? No, nothing glaring,” Wasserman Schultz said, ducking it one last time. “I’m not saying that there aren’t problems — there are always going to be tics in a law that arise, and what we should be doing is sitting down and working those out.”

Re: Obamacare’s Persistent Shoppers



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Pure conjecture, Jonah, but doesn’t it seem plausible that the late surge in enrollments is a function of procrastination, not persistence? That could end up being a very positive development for the exchanges: It might mean that they got a bunch of people who weren’t in any rush to get insurance because 1) they’re healthy and 2) they hadn’t had previous insurance policies canceled. If people like that make up a disproportionate share of the late enrollees, it will stabilize the exchanges and mean that they have made a bigger dent in the number of uninsured people. It won’t do much for Kliff’s thesis though.

Covered California Sends Deaf Callers to ‘Hot Ladies’ Hotline



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Covered California, the Golden State’s Obamacare exchange, posted an incorrect phone number on it website, sending hearing-impaired residents to a chat service with “hot ladies” instead of to insurance navigators.

CBS13 of Sacramento reports that on the last day of open enrollment, Jeff Brown called the phone number listed on a page where users can calculate the cost of coverage only to be greeted by “America’s hottest talk line.”

Brown called the number twice, thinking he dialed something wrong by mistake, but both times was met with the following greeting: “Welcome to America’s hottest talk line. Ladies, to talk to interesting and exciting guys free, press one now. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you. Press two to connect free now.”

The number listed on Covered California’s website was 1-888-899-4500, only one digit off from the navigator number of 1-888-889-4500.

A Covered California representative told CBS13 in an e-mail, “We’ve never had the incorrect number on our site.” However, CBS13 took a screenshot showing the incorrect number on the Covered California site.

The spokesman then wrote another e-mail saying, “After investigating it further, we are reviewing the shop and compare tool as an incorrect number. We’re currently working to correct the problem.”

The mistake has since been fixed.

Fund: Gas Taxes Need to Be Handed over to States More to Address Infrastructure



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Lesbian-Only Cemetery to Open in Germany



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A Berlin cemetery and an organization of elderly lesbians have agreed to dedicate a portion of the grounds, with room for 80 burial plots, for lesbians. According to the AP, the cemetery will open officially later this week. 

The cemetery, which will be in the 200-year-old Lutheran Georgen Parochial cemetery in the German city, is intended to be a place “where the lesbian community can live together in the afterlife,” a spokesman for the group said.

In exchange for the use of the land for 30 years, the women will be responsible for maintaining and landscaping the grounds.

Obamacare’s Persistent Shoppers



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Vox’s Sarah Kliff (formerly of the Washington Posttweeted out:

Lot of my thinking on why Obamacare hit 7M comes from reporting this piece. Uninsured are *very* persistent shoppers.  

So I read the piece – which is from last December. It’s interesting. It’s all about the persistence and determination of the uninsured to get insurance. The headline reads, “It’s hard to sign up for Obamacare. It’s much worse to be uninsured.” She goes on:

As a reporter who has covered the Affordable Care Act, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to uninsured Americans. Aside from the daily federal updates and traffic statistics, it’s been one of the more helpful ways to understand how the health-care law is working — and what its rocky rollout will mean.

And what I’ve learned from all those discussions is this: The people shopping on HealthCare.gov are incredibly, unwaveringly persistent in their attempts to purchase coverage.

This is something that has become clear to me in my most recent interviews, talking to people who have now spent two months trying to buy insurance coverage. These are the people who have made upwards of 100 attempts at buying insurance coverage.

So here’s the thing I don’t quite understand. Most of the reporting I’ve seen about the sign-ups suggests that the majority or even the vast majority of those enrolling in Obamacare are people who were previously insured. RAND says that only a third of enrollees (or presumed enrollees since we don’t know how many are paying) were previously uninsured. McKinsey puts the number at closer to a quarter.  In fairness, if you include the expansion of Medicaid, even more people now have coverage. But that’s not what Kliff is talking about in that post. She’s talking about people who came in through the Obamacare exchanges. And of those allegedly 7 million people at least 4 or 5 million had insurance that they then lost because of Obamacare. In short, I’m at a loss as to how the diligence and perseverance of the uninsured fueled the “success” of the exchanges when 1) they constitute a minority of sign-ups 2) there are, by the Democrats’ own numbers, still tens of millions of uninsured people who haven’t rushed to sign up and 3) the majority of people who have signed up did so because Obamacare first destroyed the insurance they already had. 

Maybe the piece should have been about how people who’ve had their insurance revoked by Obamacare are really persistent shoppers?

Harry Reid Is Losing His Mind, Paul Ryan Edition



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Harry Reid continues his bizarre campaign against the Koch Brothers, this time dragging Paul Ryan into the fray:

Just as matter of linguistic taste, I’m not sure I’d have gone with “Kochtopia.” Still, I suppose it’s better than “unAmerican” or “evil.”

What’s in Harry Reid’s budget? “Koch Zero,” someone on Twitter suggests.

Collegiate Study



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Andrew Kelly on why conservatives should reform higher ed and why it’s going to be hard. From that second article:

I once had a meeting with a whip-smart Republican congressman to discuss federal financial aid reform. As I was ushered into his office, one of his policy advisors was busily dialing up a speakerphone. On the other end of the line? The president of the local private college. As the district’s most important constituent on higher education policy, leaving him out of this policy discussion would have been politically unwise.

The thing is, every member might as well have a college president on speed dial. Using the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, I tallied the number of two and four-year colleges in each congressional district that participate in federal student aid programs (prior to the 2012 redistricting). In 2011-2012, every single district had at least one college within its boundaries, and the median district had 11. Fully 387 districts—more than enough for a congressional majority—had more than five colleges. (These numbers don’t even count the 2,000 less-than two-year colleges.)

Because student aid vouchers go directly to students rather than colleges, we don’t tend to think about these programs as distributive policies like farm subsidies or infrastructure spending. But that’s largely semantics. Aid money eventually winds up in college coffers just the same.  And colleges happen to be quite equitably distributed across every single congressional district in the country, meaning every constituency benefits from the status quo.

Working Man



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Today’s Between the Covers podcast is with Cal Thomas, author of What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America. We discuss why the book-jacket photo features a groundhog on Cal’s shoulder, what’s the biggest change in politics in the 30 years since Cal started writing his syndicated column, and Cal’s personal connection of President Calvin Coolidge.

Questions for Democratic Women Championing Equal Pay



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The Washington Post reports today that Republican female candidates are counteracting the Democrats’ push to make the mid-term elections about “equal pay” by refocusing on Obamacare. That’s a sensible tactic: Voters should consider how the Democrats’ signature health-care legislation has worked in practice, and has contributed to our other biggest problem of intractable joblessness. 

Yet Republicans may also want to push back more specifically on Democrats’ calls for more equal-pay legislation. After all, Democrats had claimed that the Lilly Ledbetter Act would advance the cause of “equal pay.” Voters should be encouraged to ask: How has that new law worked out? Did we get any closer to the goal of Equal Pay after passing that? Why would a new equal-pay law work any better?  

Republicans should also remind voters that there are laws on the books that make sex-based discrimination illegal, so women can and do sue employers who pay them less than men for the same work.   

Republicans should highlight who would really benefit from bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act, the newest “equal pay” legislation championed by the Left. It’s lawyers. Do Americans really think that the best way to boost women’s economic prospects and earnings is to encourage more class-action lawsuits? Do Americans really think that women will have more job opportunities and higher pay if the Department of Labor begins requiring companies to fill out paperwork explaining their compensation practices? What American businesses really need to create more jobs is more red tape?

The much lamented “wage gap” (that’s short hand for the differences between men and women’s earnings) is primarily caused by the different choices men and women tend to make about work. That may be a tough message to get through in today’s media and political environment, but at least it has the benefit of being the truth. 

Republicans need to remind voters what equal-pay legislation really is: It’s legislation that grows the bureaucracy and encourages more lawsuits against employers; it has very little to do with boosting women’s earnings at all.

Re: France Voters to Socialists: Get Out



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 Veronique, it’s also worth noting that (as you know) the ‘far-right’ (more on that shorthand, below) National Front had a good day too:

 Reuters:

 Provisional results from Sunday’s voting showed the protectionist, anti-EU party of Marine Le Pen set to take control of 11 towns across the country, easily surpassing a past record in the 1990s when it ruled in four towns. “This evening is a moment of truth. There is no getting away from it: this vote is a defeat for the government … and I take my part of the blame,” Ayrault told national TV late on Sunday….Provisional results gave the National Front its 11 wins largely in the south of the country, which has a tradition of anti-immigrant feeling, but also in northern and eastern districts suffering from France’s industrial decline.

 The FN’s victories included the towns of Beziers, Le Pontet, Frejus, Beaucaire, Le Luc, Camaret-sur-Aigues and Cogolin in the south, and Villers-Cotteret and Hayange in the north. It already made a breakthrough in last week’s first round by winning power in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont.

 ”The glass ceiling has been shattered,” said Le Pen, who has sought to make her party more acceptable to French voters. “No one can seriously deny this has been a huge victory for us.”

France’s voters may be rejecting the Socialists, but the break with socialism is not necessarily quite so clear cut, as the success of the “far right” National Front reminds us.. Here’s the New York Times on the National Front leader shortly after she had become leader in 2011 (my emphasis added):

 The real secret to her success, however, may be in her adroit scrambling of traditional leftist and rightist positions. Signaling a clear break from her father and the right in general, she has come out with a detailed critique of capitalism and a position promoting the state as the protector of ordinary people. “For a long time, the National Front upheld the idea that the state always does things more expensively and less well than the private sector,” she told me. “But I’m convinced that’s not true. The reason is the inevitable quest for profitability, which is inherent in the private sector. There are certain domains which are so vital to the well-being of citizens that they must at all costs be kept out of the private sector and the law of supply and demand.” The government, therefore, should be entrusted with health care, education, transportation, banking and energy.

 When I pointed out that in the U.S. she would sound like a left-wing politician, she shot back, “Yes, but Obama is way to the right of us….”

 Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Dan Hannan adds:

 It is important to understand that Marine Le Pen positioned herself to the Left of the UMP [France’s  main center-right party] and, at least on economics, arguably to the Left of the Socialists. She railed against capitalism and globalisation, called for higher expenditure, and supported state-run energy, healthcare, education, transport and financial services. Where her father used to complain about welfare scroungers, she wants a more generous range of entitlements. Where he used to describe his party as being of the Right, she recently told Le Monde that it was “neither Right nor Left, but founded on the opposition of the current political class, on the defence of the nation, on the rejection of ultra-capitalism and of Europe”.

 This last point is perhaps her most valuable differentiator. The other parties had all made idiotic claims about the single currency boosting economic growth. When the euro crisis came, the Front National, along with the Trotskyists, stood vindicated, having argued all along that monetary union would be a racket, hurting working people to the benefit of bankers and bureaucrats.

 Dan concludes:

 I won’t bother to explain, yet again, why it is wrong to call corporatist, protectionist parties like the FN “Right-wing”. Suffice it to say that France has not turned to fascism. It hasn’t particularly turned to anything. It has simply given up on its political class. Having heard their leaders warn, over and over again, against the FN, many French people plainly decided that voting for that party was the surest way to register their contempt for the old parties. Sadly, the underlying problems that caused their disenchantment in the first place are no closer to being addressed.

 The fact that turnout was, by French standards, low, reinforces the notion that France has ‘given up on its political class’, but it should be remembered nonetheless that the overwhelming majority of the French who voted last weekend voted for parties of the mainstream.  The center (as the French understand that term)  still holds. At the same time, I wouldn’t think of the National Front solely as a party of no.  Some of what it stands for taps into a discontent with France’s secularist, post-revolutionary order that can be traced back deep into the 19th Century, and which has ebbed and flowed ever since. Like it or not, it offers a vision of a France that is more than just a crude rejection of the way that the country has evolved.   And now the  failures of  the French establishment  to confront either economic reality or the catastrophe of mass immigration or the disaster that the euro has brought in its wake have offered a way for the National Front’s savvy new(ish) leader to update that older vision, so that it endures as potentially something rather more powerful than a simple of cry of rage. That this same establishment has abdicated so much power to a supranational bureaucracy headquartered in Brussels fuels the flames still further.

The next thing to watch will be the elections to the EU parliament scheduled for late May. On some projections, the National Front (which is, not so incidentally, committed to taking France out of the euro) will come top in the French vote , which would be another sign that economic incompetence and the stifling Europhile consensus of the EU’s establishment  is not only radicalizing increasing numbers of voters, but leaving them with few places to turn other than to parties that were pariahs just a few years ago.

The euro has survived primarily thanks to the political will of the European establishment. Are the voters now finally prepared to push back?

Cruz Flashes Tattoo of Churchill



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Ted Cruz has a Winston Churchill tat — at least for today.

The Texas senator surprised Fox & Friends hosts when he rolled up his sleeve and showed off his supposed tattoo of the British Bulldog. Inspired by a recent poster featuring an inked-up version of himself, Cruz joked that even his wife was taken aback by his decision.

Before signing off, Cruz hinted to his still-astonished hosts the reason for his stunt, which happened to take place on April 1. “I will note if you look at the calendar it might suggest something about what you’re seeing,” he said.

McCarthy: Feds ‘Fudged’ the Deportation Numbers



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