Barbara Boxer has decided to spare the country further embarrassment and retire from the U.S. Senate in 2016. California Democrats need a replacement. As of this writing they have only one declared candidate: state attorney general Kamala Harris. Harris is liberal, modish, and a favorite of President Obama’s. But she’s not for me. My man is Tom Steyer.
Yes, Steyer took to the Huffington Post yesterday to say, “I believe my work right now should not be in our nation’s capital but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference.” Really, though, Steyer owes it to us—more specifically, he owes it to me—to run. And if you and your friends demand his participation, I think we can get him to change his mind.
Argue about the limits of free speech, the definition of “true” Islam, whether terrorists are lunatics or rational, or the social and political repercussions of terrorism as much as you’d like. The truth is that such debates are irrelevant to the core security problem: There is a growing and energetic movement of radical Muslims dedicated to killing as many people as they can and imposing their will on the rest.
Twelve killed in Paris. Islamic terrorists executed them in a military-style attack. Why? Because they worked for Charlie Hebdo—sort of the French Mad—which had published cartoons “insulting” to Islam. The murders demonstrated the threat, the reach, and the malignity of Islamism. So it was heartening, at the end of this demoralizing day, to see a consensus on the importance of free speech.
Everyone has a favorite John Milius story. This is mine:
It is the mid-1980s. There is a party at the house of screenwriter Paul Schrader. Milius, who wrote Dirty Harry and Apocalypse Now and directed Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn, is there when Pauline Kael arrives. Kael is the liberal New Yorker film critic. To her, a Milius film is only slightly better than a slime mold.
Milius has had some wine. He has an intermediary tell Kael that he would like a “conference” with her. A message comes back: Kael wants to know if Milius, who in meetings with executives was fond of displaying pistols, is armed.
“It’s a sad day for freedom,” Marco Rubio told Bret Baier after President Obama announced he would normalize relations with Cuba. Not a sad day, senator: a sad year.
If there was a theme to 2014, it was Obama’s persistence in bailing out dictators and theocrats from political scrapes and economic hardships, his tenacity in pursuit of engagement with America’s adversaries no matter the cost to our strength, principles, credibility, or alliances.
Activists outraged at the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are not only causing traffic jams and disrupting holiday shopping. They have a new target: President Obama, who the radicals say isn’t doing enough to rectify injustice.
Talk about a dramatic entrance. When the St. Louis Rams took the field last Sunday, several teammates raised their hands, palms out. It was an act of solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed last August in a struggle with a white police officer. Moments before his demise, it is said, Brown raised his hands and pleaded: “Don’t shoot.”
There is just one problem: It is not clear that Brown put his hands up.
Scene: A pistol defies gravity, rising from the ground into a waiting hand. Emptied shell casings return to the chamber of the gun. Is a supernatural force at work? Not at all: Time is being reversed. We are seeing the consequences of actions before their causes.
Bill de Blasio, the New York mayor, says he knows why Democrats lost the 2014 election. Income inequality defines our times, he said during a visit to Washington this week, and his party did not talk about the issue enough. De Blasio needs a hearing aid. Democrats speak of little else.
Last summer the southern border disappeared. Unaccompanied minors from Central and South America surged across the Rio Grande. Desperate parents had sent their children thousands of miles north. The impoverished girls and boys were housed in ramshackle facilities before being sent elsewhere. The images were heartbreaking. They seemed drawn from a post-apocalyptic future. And they were entirely preventable.