In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Thursday, November 23, 2017

It turns out George Washington really was the first "Rules Guy."

I thought of that as I was visiting friends in Virginia recently and came across his booklet, "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation" on their coffee table. A well-known treasure in the 19th century and a delight to historians of Washington and a few thoughtful folks today, it's been lost to most of the rest of us in modern times.

The recession is driving American demand for contraception and for abortions. The media have been riven this past week with stories about the rising number of couples and single mothers doing the math and deciding this is no time to bring a child into the world --- not when the economy is depressed, jobs are scarce and family incomes are dropping.

The media have also been rife with stories portraying this trend as something of a tragedy. Let me propose a counter view: it is not.

Republican political strategists, assuming there are still any out there with enough gray matter to quality for the job, head back to the drawing board today after they big plans to use a New York special election to stop the Obama juggernaut fell flat on its ass.

Instead of putting a Republican back into a seat that should have been an easy win, the GOP found itself 65 votes down and headed for a recount in a district where most of the voters identify themselves as members of the party of the elephant.

Republicans thought they had a chance to use the election as a referendum on Obama's policies. Instead it became another setback for the party where failure appears to be the only option.

On top of all its other misdeeds, the Obama administration is now figuring out an authoritarian means to seize American companies, and what we don't need is Republicans saying yup, yup, bickering among themselves or hiding in the weeds.

What we need is an effective opposition party, a group that won't read recent election results as an excuse to desert principle, but that will do its best to stop, slow down or at least incisively dissect economically dangerous, freedom-restricting policies pushed by Democrats now in power.

Former President George W. Bush, making his first public speech since leaving office in January, says he wants Barack Obama to succeed and that it's "essential" to support the new leader.

Bush declined to critique the Obama administration in Tuesday's speech, saying the new president has enough critics and that he "deserves my silence."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Obama's decisions threatened America's safety. Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has said he hoped Obama would fail.

"I love my country a lot more than I love politics," Bush said. "I think it is essential that he be helped in office."

More than 100 protesters chanted "war criminal" and flung shoes in Calgary on Tuesday, angry that former U.S. President George W. Bush was in the Canadian city to give his first speech since leaving the White House.

At least two demonstrators were hauled away by police after brief skirmishes, as 1,500 business people in the oil patch city waited outside a convention center for an hour to pass through tight security and enter the C$400-a-plate ($315) luncheon.

We are a nation in need of new animals. Because the old ones -- the symbols of our two major political parties -- no longer reflect reality.

The elephant must go as the Republican Party symbol. We all know that elephants never forget -- and the problem today's Republicans have is they can no longer remember.

Rush Limbaugh wants President Barack Obama to fail, he has said more than once, and liberal commentators are aghast, either because they haven't bothered to check out the context of his remarks or are hopelessly befogged by bias.

A couple of minutes of Google searches would inform the lazy ones that while Limbaugh may characteristically have found a provocative way to phrase his thoughts, he was actually saying he hoped Obama would fail to afflict the nation with horrendous policies. Not so outrageous, huh?

Newt Gingrich, conservative Republicanism's last and also perhaps its next purveyor of bold ideas, reached back almost a half century to put into proper context President Obama's sweeping new budget and his own party's mission unaccomplished.

The Republican Party is embarrassing itself over Rush Limbaugh. It's great fun for the Democrats and amusing to political independents and Limbaugh himself seems to be having a great time.

Limbaugh made a huge splash in the national political debate when he said he hoped President Obama would fail. He later elaborated that he wanted Obama's policies, with which he vehemently disagreed, to fail but having just come off a president that did fail stuck a nerve with the public.