For the past half-century, and particularly since the 1983 "Nation at Risk" report, Americans have been heaving great sacks of money at schools. Federal spending alone has tripled since the 1970s. The New York Times calculates that the federal government now spends $107.6 billion on education yearly, which is layered over an estimated $524.7 billion spent by states and localities (source: National Center for Education Statistics).
The unsinkable Charles B. Rangel appeared on C-SPAN over the weekend. Why unsinkable? Well, the House of Representatives censured the New York Democrat in 2010 by a vote of 333 to 79 (when the body was still majority Democrat) for violating 11 ethics rules and "bringing discredit to the House." The New York Times called it a "staggering fall" for the senior Democrat. But fall-schmall, he's since been re-elected and will retire at his leisure.
The Ferguson, Mo., police department released convenience store surveillance tape that showed Michael Brown allegedly stealing some cigars minutes before he was shot by a police officer. Aware that the release of this footage might look like posthumous character assassination of the shooting victim, Captain Ronald Johnson of the Ferguson police explained that the tape was released pursuant to freedom of information requests.
The United Nations plays a supporting role in every war between Hamas and Israel. U.N. spokesmen routinely issue statements, accusations and denials about everyone's conduct, including their own (most recently they had to account for why they returned rockets, discovered in a U.N. school, to Hamas). Israel was denounced worldwide for an "attack" on a U.N. school said to be housing 3,000 civilians, but it was actually an attack on particular terrorists on the adjoining street.
"Meet the Press" featured a segment this week that illustrates the planted liberal axioms that dominate our political culture. The topic was Congress's failure to "get anything done" this term. Political director Chuck Todd set the stage:
In the last several weeks, I've heard people confidently declare that the 70 percent of Jewish-Americans who voted for Obama are finally sorry. I'm skeptical, but even if they are, they're probably telling themselves that Hillary Clinton would be a better friend to the Jewish state than the current president.
You needn't be clairvoyant to deduce what the Democratic Party wants to run on in 2016. It really doesn't matter whether their nominee is Hillary Clinton or someone else. Democrats won't be campaigning on the thriving economy under President Barack Obama, global stability under American leadership, the successful routing of al-Qaida or Obamacare. No, the Democratic Party is the ladies' party now -- dependent completely on the lopsided votes of single females for their electoral success. To the degree possible, 2016 will be about women's sex lives and who should pay for IUDs.
"The heartlessness and nativist pandering that have broken America's immigration system must give way to providing proper food, clothing, shelter and medical care to the Central American children streaming into the country." So pronounced the editors of the New York Daily News. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. echoed the theme in his "Bordering on Heartless" column, noting that Glenn Beck has "come under fierce attack" for his proposal to bring food, water, teddy bears and soccer balls to the children stuck at the border. "It's one more sign," Dionne writes, "of how the crisis at the border has brought out the very worst in our political system and a degree of plain nastiness that we should not be proud of as a nation."
Among Republicans, the debate over America's proper world role is vigorous. Sen. Rand Paul blames the current disarray in Iraq on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. "Were they right in their predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there? Was the war won in 2005, when many of those people said it was won?"
A few questions for President Barack Obama.
At your press conference, you said, "It is in our national security interest not to see an all-out civil war in Iraq." If that is the case, why did you withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011? Were you motivated by something other than U.S. national interests?