After seven years of demonizing republicans, President Obama concluded his state of the union address with a call for civility in our politics. Good for him. Better late than never.
Jim Huffman | All Articles
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Jim Huffman is Dean Emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School and a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
The Daily Caller reports that Brittany Mirelez, a student at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Phoenix, Arizona, has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the college violated her First Amendment right to free speech. Mirelez had set up a table in the college’s ‘free speech zone’ without the required permit. The DC reports that the ‘free speech zone’ consists of 0.26 percent of the campus and that permits must be acquired two days in advance.
Have they no shame? Are there no limits to 350.org’s willingness to attribute human suffering of every description to climate change? Consider what Nicolas Haeringer, a French spokesman for the group, has communicated in an email blast (also on the 350.org website).
Did you know that Hillary Clinton is a liar? Everybody knows that. Everybody also knows that many of our leaders and aspiring leaders, liberal and conservative alike, are liars. It is part of what leaders do to achieve their goals. Because liberals generally share goals with their chosen leaders, they ignore the liberal lies. So, too, conservatives ignore the lies of conservative leaders. Sadly we live in a world of bipartisan lying and partisan defense of those who lie to advance their public policy goals.
Last March, on the 5th anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama declared the act a success. Last week, Obama administration cheerleader-in-chief Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times that “the Affordable Care Act is an overwhelming success.” Are the president and Krugman right, or was conservative commentator Sally Pipes correct when she wrote last year in Forbes that “the Affordable Care Act has failed to deliver what its name formally promised”?
It turns out that Atticus Finch is no better than William Willoughby and the other white trash of Maycomb County, Alabama. Atticus is not the heroic civil rights champion author Harper Lee led us to believe in her book To Kill a Mockingbird. Generations of young Americans have been duped. It is now revealed in Lee’s second (really first) book, “Go Set a Watchman,“ that Atticus is a bigot.
Like millions of other Americans, I am a registered Republican. According to Timothy Egan, writing in yesterday’s New York Times, that makes me responsible for the vitriol and inanities currently being spewed by Donald Trump. Trump, writes Egan, “is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so.” Not some Republicans, mind you, but all Republicans including those who might disagree with Trump but have allowed “any amount of gaseous buffoonery [to go] ... unchallenged.”
Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe has been getting a lot of press in advance of his representation of Peabody Energy in its dispute with the Obama Administration over the constitutionality of the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide emission regulations. The New York Times reported (April 6) that many of Tribe’s colleagues at Harvard Law School are “bewildered and angry.” Jody Freeman, director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law School, told the Times that Tribe’s claims of unconstitutionality are “baseless.” Freeman and respected law professor and Supreme Court advocate Richard Lazarus wrote on the Harvard Law School website that Mr. Tribe’s arguments are “ridiculous.”
If you have read any of the last hundred or so columns by the New York Times’ celebrated Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, you will know pretty much what his next column will say. He beats the Keynesian drum with a repetitive vengeance to the delight of those who prefer taxing and spending over serious thinking about how government policy affects the entrepreneurs and business people who constitute our national economy.
Wednesday was signing day. Amazingly, and sadly, the vast majority of readers will know what that means.
President Obama’s Tuesday night lecture on the need for a little civility and kumbaya in our national politics was hard to take seriously coming on the heels of legislative proposals with zero prospect of enactment, threatened vetoes, child-like flaunting of his two election victories and repeated insults directed at the majority of those present in the House chamber. Gratuitous invectives, ranging from an alleged war on women to accusations that republicans actually wish to damage the environment and take food from the mouths of the poor, have become standard Democratic fare over the last few years. They arrive daily in my inbox, signed by the likes of Vice President Joe Biden, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the president himself.
The Daily Caller reports that Columbia University Law School has agreed to postpone final exams for students traumatized by the recent grand jury non-indictments in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. TheDC also reports that students at Harvard and Georgetown law schools would like the same consideration from their institutions of higher learning.
Do Democrats truly believe that Article II of the Constitution grants the president all of the powers President Obama proclaims to have and has in fact exercised? Or are they just going along because they agree with the president’s policy agenda? We can rest assured that with an equally assertive Republican president, Democrats would be objecting on constitutional grounds.
Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Harvey Silvergate describes a recent panel discussion hosted by Smith College President Kathleen McCartney for Smith College alumni. The panel was titled: “Challenging the Ideological Echo Chamber: Free Speech, Civil Discourse and the Liberal Arts.” It was, reported Silvergate, “an apparent effort to address the intolerance of diverse opinions that prevails on many campuses.”
After casting his ballot in Chicago a full 16 days before the election, President Obama said “I’m so glad I can vote early here.” He then held up a flyer and admonished “early vote, everybody.” The president thus declared himself an enthusiastic supporter of the early voting craze that is sweeping the nation.
As we left our daughters’ school near Boston and headed for the Keene pumpkin festival in south western New Hampshire, one of my daughter’s received a text message cautioning about rioting at and around Keene State College. My wife went on the web, where news reports described extensive injuries and a massive police response.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama is seriously contemplating taking executive action to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, effectively overriding a Congressional ban on bringing detainees to the United States. According to the Journal, the president is determined to deliver on a campaign promise to close the prison and “wants to have all potential options available on an issue he sees as part of his legacy.”
The Los Angeles Ethics Commission has recommended to the city that it consider offering cash prizes to encourage voting. The idea is that anyone who turns up to vote would be entered in a lottery for cash prizes of between $1000 and $50,000. A similar idea was put to Arizona voters in a 2006 citizen’s initiative labeled the Arizona Voter Reward Act. The initiative was rejected by 67 percent of the voters.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to propose a tightening of the standard for permissible ground-level ozone. The current standard is 75 parts per billion (ppb). EPA would reduce that to as low as 60 ppb. Jay Timmons, writing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, reports that 60 ppb ozone standard “could cost Americans $270 billion annually, put millions of jobs at risk, and drastically increase energy prices for consumers and manufacturers.” Timmons also notes that “the second-highest court in the land [recently] held that the current standard protects public health.”
Most good college teachers know they need to repeat themselves – not necessarily with the same words but with the same facts, or concepts, or theories. Repetition raises the odds of penetrating distracted adolescent brains.