Jack Fowler argues that earmarks are “the sell-out which brings about big legislative horrors.” I disagree on both counts. First, why is it a sell-out for a congressman to direct that a portion of federal funding on local transportation projects be directed to a traffic light on Main Street, to use Jack’s example? What conservative principle requires that the executive branch allocate all the spending? Second, the connection between earmarks and the passage of big-funding bills is tenuous. Earmarks can be used to get the votes to enact good bills too, and there are plenty of other ways to get votes: The Cornhusker Kickback wasn’t an earmark.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader, “Save Ike from the Kikes.” I’d better explain. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the Nazi troll armies’ march ... Read More
Studies will someday be done on the deleterious effect Donald Trump has had on the brains of people who loathe him. It drives them to say things that are as palpably foolish as some of the president’s own doozies. This week’s winner: There is no such thing as a “perjury trap.” Because some of the ... Read More
Michelle Williams, an actress, has decided to become a spokesman on the issue of pay inequality in her profession, and appears this month on the cover of Vanity Fair with a headline to that effect. This decision follows what she describes as a humiliating episode in which she learned in the pages of USA Today ... Read More
Will Democrats pull an “October Surprise” this year and announce that the highly polarizing Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco won’t be their candidate for House speaker after all? Growing up in the Bay Area, I saw Pelosi’s iron will and stubbornness up close for decades. The possibility of her stepping back ... Read More
Corey Stewart has had a rough few weeks. Stewart, the Republican nominee challenging incumbent Democratic senator Tim Kaine in Virginia this fall, has come under sustained fire lately as news outlets have uncovered disturbing past comments from his campaign staff and from Stewart himself — shedding new light ... Read More
A few weeks before I was ordained a Catholic priest in the late autumn of 1994, my superior in the seminary told me that, in his opinion, it was probably the most difficult time in a century to become a priest. Yet, he went on, it was also the most exciting time. I really did not take much notice of what he ... Read More