Tony Blankley from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 25 Jun 2021 03:05:23 -0700 Tony Blankley from Creators Syndicate b0275c75edb225a074f7ca81d79b0595 A Time for Statesmen for 10/31/2011 Mon, 31 Oct 2011 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Now is a particularly dangerous moment for American national security interests. Not just because threats are growing. Not just because the current administration is making a historic bungle from China to Iraq to Iran to Russia to Europe to Mexico to our historic allies in the Middle East &mdash; both Jewish and Muslim. All that would be bad enough.</p> <p>But the greatest threat to our national security, at the moment, is the manifest indifference of the voting public to these foreign threats &mdash; and the silence on them from our alleged leaders. It's understandable.</p> <p>The devil has our economy by the throat, and Americans (when they think about politics) are focused on what Washington should do &mdash; or should stop doing &mdash; to defeat our domestic economic threat.<p>Updated: Mon Oct 31, 2011</p> 20c36cacc13323ce30881fb41a87e83a Obama's Last Economic Policy Chance for 08/30/2011 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 21:00:00 -0700 <p>President Obama's post-Labor Day &quot;jobs&quot; speech will be his last chance to launch an economic policy with any chance of manifesting its effect &mdash; both economic and political &mdash; before the November 2012 elections.</p> <p>He has three options. In order of descending likelihood they are: a timid hodgepodge of previous proposals, a bold left of center initiative or a turn to free markets &quot;nuclear option.&quot;</p> <p>It's that nuclear option that is the most fascinating and most unlikely. He could decide to embrace all the major Republican, Tea Party, free market ideas: marginal business and personal tax rate cuts (leading to a net tax cut); big discretionary spending cuts to be implemented before the 2012 election; genuine long term reductions in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security costs written into law now; major deregulation &mdash; including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dodd-Frank financial burdens and nanny-state consumer regulations; unlimited oil- and gas-drilling, and shale-fracking authorization; permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts, repeal of the double tax on American corporations' foreign profits, limits on unemployment insurance extensions; and withdrawal of his big union initiatives, such as the National Labor Relations Board's opposition to Boeing Co. building a factory in South Carolina.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 30, 2011</p> 8f48915bdbf89679682d1f382a1a3b71 Newt's Ideas Worth Considering for 07/05/2011 Tue, 05 Jul 2011 21:00:00 -0700 <p>One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of sheer misguided reporting than the story in The Washington Post last weekend in which it was reported that &quot;Newt Gingrich thinks he can revive his debilitated campaign by talking about Alzheimer's. ... For most presidential candidates, Alzheimer's is a third- or fourth-tier subject, at best. But as Gingrich sees it, Alzheimer's, as well as other niche topics such as military families' concerns and pharmaceutical issues, are priorities. ... By offering himself as a champion of pet causes, Gingrich believes he can sew together enough narrow constituencies to make a coalition &mdash; an unconventional one, yes, but a coalition nevertheless.&quot;</p> <p>Now, I admit, Newt is my old boss, and I am a friend and great admirer of Newt's &mdash; so I am hardly an unbiased source. But I also happen to be pretty familiar with Newt's public ideas over the years.</p> <p>And to read the article in question, one would think that Newt thought up this little &quot;niche&quot; Alzheimer's issue a couple of weeks ago &mdash; just in time for his revived campaign. Well, in fact, I remember Newt talking to me about the coming crisis in Alzheimer's disease back in the 1990s. And in 2007, the Alzheimer's Association, along with the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, called for the creation of the Alzheimer's Study Group. Newt was named co-chairman (along with former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey).<p>Updated: Tue Jul 05, 2011</p> c96d9a4f7ce197e09e27d621257064bf Conditions of Anonymity for 05/10/2011 Tue, 10 May 2011 21:00:00 -0700 <p>There is a particular media conceit that, in the garb of purported impeccable disclosure, is in fact a license for news sources to market talking points.</p> <p>A hilarious example of the breed can be found in an article by Anne E. Kornblut in the Sunday Washington Post. The article is about the White House's intended use of the bin Laden event and is titled &quot;Bin Laden raid fits into Obama's 'big things' message.&quot;</p> <p>The phrase in question is the italicized words in the following quote: &quot;A senior administration official, <i> who spoke on the conditions of anonymity to speak freely about internal thinking </i>, said the White House is not developing a strategy to leverage the raid in other difficult arenas, such as the budget or debt-ceiling negotiations with the Republicans. And the official insisted it would not change the overall message or approach of the 2012 campaign, which has long been described as a campaign focused on the economy. <p>Updated: Tue May 10, 2011</p> 4e0c50348aedc8071dd0073f5aa46adc Deficits, Promises and Destiny for 03/15/2011 Tue, 15 Mar 2011 21:00:00 -0700 <p>In about a month, the Republican majority on the House Budget Committee will present its concurrent budget resolution for fiscal year 2012, which by law will include their proposed 2012 annual budget and their projection of the budgets (spending, revenues and the resulting deficit, surplus or balance) for the following nine years.</p> <p>It may not be overstatement to assert that this presentation may determine whether Republicans win or lose the 2012 elections and whether the United States government acts in time to save our economic future from ruin.</p> <p>A month ago, President Obama announced his budget proposal. It projected $7.2 trillion (adjusted to $9.4 trillion with later developments) to be added to the national debt over 10 years &mdash; and made no proposal to reduce the burgeoning growth of the annual deficit due to out-of-control cost rises in Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and other entitlements. Even with unrealistically rosy economic projections &mdash; such as no recessions in next decade &mdash; the Office of Management and Budget still projected annual deficits of $774 billion in 2021.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 15, 2011</p> 8ec5325104e6c8053622fe4c9e1ad57a Regulations and Rhetoric for 01/25/2011 Tue, 25 Jan 2011 21:00:00 -0800 <p>Last week, the president wrote in the Wall Street Journal an article titled &quot;Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System&quot; in which he announced that he had issued an executive order to review all government regulations on a cost-benefit ratio basis. In itself, this is a good idea, although the president makes it explicit that the cost-benefit analysis must take account of &mdash; as benefits &mdash; intangible factors such as &quot;equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.&quot; Plenty of leeway there for career regulators and liberal political appointees to justify almost any oppressive regulation they may stumble over.</p> <p>But what startles one is the that such a proposal could come from the same administration that has for the last two years been saddling the American economy and our personal lives with more new legislatively mandated regulations than we have ever experienced in such a short time.</p> <p>Consider that the president's enacted health care and financial laws, by themselves, rigorously increase regulation over 25 percent and 30 percent of the entire economy. Health care now embraces about 17 percent of the economy, while finance is about 10 percent. So that by those two laws alone, the health and finance industries will be subjected to years of new regulatory oppression. In fact, it will take years just to promulgate and bring into enforcement those new regulations.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 25, 2011</p> e16fb56422549ed781faa902c92bfa2a Avoid GOP Timidity in 2011 for 01/18/2011 Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:00:00 -0800 <p>What should the congressional GOP's policy objectives be for the next two years regarding federal deficits and prosperity?</p> <p>Two very different strategies are being considered by authentic conservatives: 1) attempt to govern from their majority in the House and actually try to start the process of reducing the costs of entitlements (most conspicuously Social Security and Medicare) as a path back to prosperity and good jobs; or 2) recognize that the GOP cannot govern without holding the White House, and that, therefore, they should not touch entitlements but merely tinker with discretionary spending and frame the issues for 2012 when they may win the presidency and Senate, as well as hold the majority in the House.</p> <p>I believe we should follow the first option. The second strategy was championed by, among others, the Wall Street Journal (the esteemed wheelhouse of modern journalistic conservatism) in a Jan. 4 editorial headlined &quot;The GOP Opportunity: The main Republican task will be framing the issues for 2012.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 18, 2011</p> bbbbd43f98a71e0d67a800f6f8bd1e24 The Great American Funk for 11/30/2010 Tue, 30 Nov 2010 21:00:00 -0800 <p>I suppose it is to be expected that the Great Recession should be accompanied by a sweeping national pessimism in which our purported leaders and commentators express historic despair, while the people and corporations mope about, convinced that the sun will not come up tomorrow.</p> <p>Such an intensity of self-loathing and lack of confidence has not been heard since the French contemplated their disgraced future in June 1940 when they annihilated their nation, and the great light that was France, by surrendering to the Germans.</p> <p>But even that French despair ended &mdash; and it started to clear when Gen. de Gaulle found himself in London in June 1940, unknown, with no resources, no respect, but an uncontainable will to rally Frenchmen to the majestic task of saving France from her self-imposed infamy.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 30, 2010</p> fd9b2922227b0e2c04bd217bd36844e5 War of Attrition Against Regulators Needed for 10/18/2010 Mon, 18 Oct 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2011, the two major legislative initiatives of the tea party Congress (pray the voters deliver such a congress) will be to get a grip on the deficit, and to begin to reverse the intrusion of the federal government in American lives and business.</p> <p>It remains to be seen whether Congress will have the guts &mdash; and even the tea party public will give their support-for the entitlement cutting that deficit control and long-term fiscal soundness will require.</p> <p>Procedurally, however, the method is pretty straightforward. Congress passes a 10-year budget resolution, then passes appropriations and other bills to carry out those objectives. And, of course, the president has to sign them into law. That may result in the greatest Washington political battle since slavery, but at least the legislative method is obvious and straightforward.<p>Updated: Mon Oct 18, 2010</p> 2fc69c3781f9dd6a5cb24d335945e841 The White House Bunker So Soon? for 10/12/2010 Tue, 12 Oct 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Based on the recent appointments of the two most powerful staff positions in the White House, and on various statements, it would appear that the White House is descending deeper into the bunker in anticipation of the expected shift in congressional majorities next year.</p> <p>The selection of Pete Rouse for chief of staff and Tom Donilon for national security adviser are both in-house promotions. Moving deputies up to principal rank is more typically seen in the seventh and eighth years of a White House administration &mdash; when an administration often has lost its instinct for innovation and creative responses to changing events.</p> <p>Moreover, in each case, a senior figure is being replaced with a staffer. Rahm Emanuel was both an elected congressman and in the senior leadership of the Democratic House when he became chief of staff. Gen. James Jones had been Supreme Allied Commander Europe and four-star commandant of the Marines before becoming national security adviser last year.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 12, 2010</p> de47a34c1c843aecabacc452bc5dbd21 Is It Enough for the GOP To Just Say No? for 07/20/2010 Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Over the past year, the Democrats fixed on what they thought was a devastating four-word slogan to defeat Republicans in 2010: &quot;The Party of No.&quot; Unlike many campaign slogans, it was fair enough. After all, the Republicans had opposed almost unanimously all of President Obama's major bills (socialized health care, stimulus, nationalization of GM and Chrysler, &quot;cap and trade,&quot; financial overregulation, multitrillion-dollar yearly deficits, tax increases, etc.)</p> <p>But the Democrats seem to have stopped using that phrase in the past several weeks as, apparently, White House strategists have come to appreciate that the only people screaming &quot;no&quot; louder than the Grand Old Party are the American people. (The president is now opposed by more than 60 percent of independents, 60 percent of whites, almost 40 percent of Hispanics and a full 19 percent of registered Democrats &mdash; all historic worst numbers for the president.)</p> <p>Instead, for the past few weeks, the president has been publicly testing a new message: Remember, you would not only be voting against Democrats in November, you would be voting for Republicans.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 20, 2010</p> c93017f52fbd9c0b1107e4c884473b5b Lincoln or Kagan for 07/13/2010 Tue, 13 Jul 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Abraham Lincoln: &quot;I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.&quot; Lincoln address in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Feb. 22, 1861:</p> <p>&quot;That sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty ... to the people of this country ... Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? ... if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.&quot;</p> <p>Lincoln's inaugural address of March 4, 1861: &quot;The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was 'to form a more perfect Union.' &quot;<p>Updated: Tue Jul 13, 2010</p> a73027901f88055aaa0fd1a9e25d36c7 Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854, Redux for 03/24/2010 Wed, 24 Mar 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Updated: Wed Mar 24, 2010</p> 4798443501a54a147b4098b919f7b44c Sunday's Socialist Triumph for 03/23/2010 Tue, 23 Mar 2010 21:00:00 -0700 <p>Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday launched the Democrats' argument for the health care bill, claiming, &quot;This is an American proposal that honors the traditions of our country.&quot; Does that suggest that opposition is un-American? And what are the traditions that are American that this law fulfills? The Democrats argue that the bill fulfills the &quot;right&quot; of all Americans to government-assured health care services. The congressional Democrats claim many other things that a majority of the country believes to be inconsistent with truth and reality.</p> <p>So, considering the rhetorical onslaught that is about to be unleashed on the public, to paraphrase (and with the deepest apologies to) Winston Churchill on the occasion of the fall of France in June 1940:</p> <p>What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic Party must very soon be trained on the electorate.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 23, 2010</p> be3f5b80b9d6b27ca6ff1099d5e76ba4 Palin Delivers Sparkle, Warmth for 02/09/2010 Tue, 09 Feb 2010 21:00:00 -0800 <p>&quot;No new ideas.&quot; That was the most prominent of the criticisms of Sarah Palin's speech at MSNBC's too-cool-for-school &quot;Morning Joe&quot; on Monday. The more general critique of former Gov. Palin's future was that while she certainly had star power, she could never speak to more than a fraction of even Republicans. The proof of the latter point was made with the evidence that many important Washington Republicans could never support her for more than cheerleader to her marginal people.</p> <p>They also pointed out that she had kept out of races in Massachusetts and Virginia, where it was thought she might not help. Gosh, a lack of ego paired with shrewd political judgment &mdash; that is surely not wanted in a leader. (In both those incidents, the president himself couldn't resist going in and contributing to his candidates' losses.)</p> <p>If I hadn't still been lying in bed, I would have fallen over laughing at this summary rejection by the guardians of the existing order of the only national figure who both: (1) unabashedly but politely criticizes President Obama where it hurts him most; and, (2) eye-catchingly articulates the central values and objectives of the about 60 percent of the public that views the current administration's actions with slack-jawed horror and fear.<p>Updated: Tue Feb 09, 2010</p> 61ad2d2d4477d41169b0faadb0980180 Winston Churchill Still Instructs for 01/05/2010 Tue, 05 Jan 2010 21:00:00 -0800 <p>Over the Christmas holiday, I read a couple of books that, at least for me, may provide some guidance in the upcoming tumultuous and probably consequential year. The first book was &quot;Munich, 1938&quot; by David Faber (grandson of former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan), by far the most authoritative book on that world-changing event.</p> <p>Beyond the obvious policy point that appeasement is generally bad, the value of the book is in its dissection of how the experienced leadership class of the then-leading power &mdash; the British Empire &mdash; was able to think, talk and deceive itself to a catastrophically bad policy decision. The author reveals in minute example how domestic politics, leaks and counter leaks to major newspapers shaped &mdash; and misshaped &mdash; both vital foreign policy judgment and how the world construed and misconstrued British strategic thinking.</p> <p>The author also reveals in fresh details the well-known story of how Winston Churchill, Duff Cooper and a handful of others &mdash; in and out of government &mdash; dissented from the policy.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 05, 2010</p> 83195156bb3569a78bed5d6da6a14750 Afghan War Policy Fractured for 12/29/2009 Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:00:00 -0800 <p>Franklin Roosevelt was famous for being able to give people on all sides of a policy dispute the impression that he supported each person's position. Such artfulness helped him manage domestic politics for 12 years in the presidency. Similarly, President Obama wrote in his book &quot;The Audacity of Hope&quot; that &quot;I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views. As such, I am bound to disappoint some, if not all, of them.&quot;</p> <p>All politicians &mdash; indeed all people &mdash; permit such ambiguous perceptions of themselves from time to time. But for presidents, it is vital that such ambiguities support, not undermine, their policy objectives. And, as important articles in the Washington Post and the U.K. Guardian last weekend disclose, there is major confusion at the highest levels over what the president's policy is in Afghanistan.</p> <p>The confusions as to intentions, strategies and exit timing started immediately after the president's Dec. 1 speech, and have gotten dangerously worse in the ensuing month. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chairman of Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullins and the top generals all said we were there to win and the July 2011 exit date was conditional on whether enough had been accomplished by then. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, adviser David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Vice President Joe Biden and the president all indicated July 2011 was real, and senior White House sources said &quot;winning&quot; was not an objective.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 29, 2009</p> 1c77d7a11855fdfde420194c050c147b Afghan Rebuttal and Surrebuttal on the Right for 11/24/2009 Tue, 24 Nov 2009 21:00:00 -0800 <p>Two noteworthy responses to my column last week (&quot;An Exit Strategy To Die For&quot;) deserve my reply. In the online magazine Commentary, Max Boot, one of the most respected foreign-policy voices on the right, explicitly dissented from the central premise of my column. In The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan, though politely not mentioning my column, dedicated their lead editorial to a point-by-point rebuttal to my arguments.</p> <p>In both instances, they sympathized with my sentiments but disagreed with my reasoning. Both articles also assumed that the arguments I raised will be an increasingly common view on the right (which currently is providing most of the public support for fighting the Afghan war). I agree with that latter point, so it is worth reviewing whether they are right on the former one &mdash; that my reasoning is wrong.</p> <p>First, let's be clear that Messrs. Kristol, Kagan and Boot and I all agree that America has vital national security interests in Afghanistan that a fully resourced and well-led American effort has a good chance of vindicating, and we also agree that our precipitous exit would have terrible consequences.<p>Updated: Tue Nov 24, 2009</p> 9a85af7058591990221e2f312d01bb55 The World Won't Wait On Washington Indecision for 10/20/2009 Tue, 20 Oct 2009 21:00:00 -0700 <p>On three fronts &mdash; South Korean trade, Ukrainian/Russian diplomacy and Afghan war fighting &mdash; the Obama administration is being increasingly pressured by unfolding events to shed ideology and rationalizations and come quickly to a realistic analysis of world events and their consequences. In each of these cases, in the absence of very prompt United States policy decisions and actions, we shall incur long-term irreversible economic, geopolitical or national security harm. I will discuss the Afghan war decision in a future column.</p> <p>In the case of South Korea, last week the European Union completed a bilateral trade deal (requiring approval by the European Parliament) with South Korea. While the 2006 U.S. deal with South Korea languishes unratified by both a Congress and White House controlled by the evidently protectionist wing of the Democratic Party, the Europeans cannot believe their luck. They basically copied our hard-negotiated tentative agreement, and if they soon ratify it, they will be able to take economic advantages over the United States.</p> <p>European officials are &quot;ecstatic&quot; about the access they have gained. Catherine Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, told the Financial Times, &quot;I think the package is the best we'll ever get and I think it's a fantastic package for Europe.&quot; &quot;There is no doubt the Korea-US agreement was used as a benchmark or even a model from the Korean side,&quot; Christopher Dent, professor of East Asian political economy at the University of Leeds, told the Financial Times last week.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 20, 2009</p> f2726adc12fc8d21c875c9ee5274335e Administration Downsizes Our Diplomatic Muscle for 09/15/2009 Tue, 15 Sep 2009 21:00:00 -0700 <p>With one-sixth of the Obama administration's term of office complete, last week it revealed its profound commitment to an unprecedented policy of eschewing the exercise of great-power diplomacy &mdash; and indeed of being willing to consciously accept humiliation &mdash; in the hope of gaining future advantage from talking with hostile but weaker nations.</p> <p>Following up on his campaign commitment to unconditional diplomatic talks, the president &mdash; in dealings last week with Iran and North Korea through his government &mdash; yielded previously asserted conditions for negotiations as a price his administration is willing to pay for talks with those nations.</p> <p>Earlier in the year, the president set Sept. 30 as a deadline for Iran to suspend its nuclear program in return for substantial talks with the United States &mdash; or face tougher economic sanctions. Also, the president previously sent personal letters to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in hopes of direct, private engagement.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 15, 2009</p>