Sad News About A Great Commentator

Fox News posted an article today about Charles Krauthammer, a longtime regular panelist on various Fox News shows.

The article reports:

Charles Krauthammer, the beloved and brilliant Fox News Channel personality who gave up a pioneering career in psychiatry to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning political analyst, on Friday revealed the heartbreaking news that he is in the final stages of a losing battle with cancer.

The 68-year-old’s incisive takes on politics of the day have been missing from Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” for nearly a year as he battled an abdominal tumor and subsequent complications, but colleagues and viewers alike had held out hope that he would return to the evening show he helped establish as must-viewing. But in an eloquent, yet unblinking letter to co-workers, friends and Fox News Channel viewers, Krauthammer disclosed that he has just weeks to live.

“I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months,” the letter began. “I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.”

This is Charles Krauthammer’s public statement regarding his illness:

Charles Krauthammer

 June 8, 2018

I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me. 

In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications– which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.

However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.

I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life – full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.

This is a man I do not always agree with, but for whom I have a great deal of respect. We need a miracle here.

Charles Krauthammer Had It Right

The following is a quote from Charles Krauthammer in October of 2016:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

The quote was posted at Real Clear Politics.

This is a quote from then FBI Comey’s statement about Hillary Clinton’s emails. It is taken from the Los Angeles Times:

FBI investigators have also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014. Where an e-mail was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the FBI referred the e-mail to any U.S. government agency that was a likely “owner” of information in the e-mail, so that agency could make a determination as to whether the e-mail contained classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify the e-mail now, even if its content was not classified at the time it was sent (that is the process sometimes referred to as “up-classifying”).

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.

This helped us recover work-related e-mails that were not among the 30,000 produced to State. Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.

With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been “up-classified.”

The underline is mine.

Regardless of how you feel about Hillary Clinton, mishandling classified information is a crime that ordinary people go to jail for committing. If there are not consequences for breaking laws, why do we have those laws?

 

 

How Many Democrats Have Been Mugged By Reality?

I used to be a Democrat. I voted for George McGovern for President. I stayed a Democrat until about half way through Jimmy Carter‘s presidency. At that point I was mugged by reality. Evidently I was not the only one.

The Daily Caller posted an interview today of Charles Krauthammer (one of my favorite people in the whole world) by Howard Kurtz on the Fox TV show “Media Buzz.” I strongly suggest following the link and reading the entire article, but here are a few highlights:

People don’t remember that in the 1970s, there was a strong conservative wing of the Democratic Party. Pat Moynahan, Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, they were called the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Committee for the Present Danger… that is where I came out of. Joe Lieberman is the last of those Mohicans, and obviously he had no home in the end.

KURTZ: You were trained, as you mentioned, as a doctor. Does that influence your political prognostications? Analyzing the sanity of those in the political community, perhaps?

KRAUTHAMMER: Oh, no, it never does. However, my training as an M.D. has made me particularly open to empirical evidence. And when you talked about my evolution from a liberal to a conservative, it isn’t that i had an epiphany, the clouds parting and a shaft of light from the sky. I was open to empirical evidence, on the War on Poverty, the Great Society, which I believed in and saw it didn’t work, at least the evidence I read, and I changed. That is the major influence on my life.

I suspect that I am not the only person who can relate to that statement.

Avoiding The Solution Because You Would Rather Have The Problem

Yesterday CNS News posted an article suggesting a real solution to our current budget crisis. As I have previously stated, all of the doomsday forecasts about sequestration are simply another example of the Obama Administration crying wolf. The sequestration does not actually cut spending–it merely cuts the rate of growth.

The article suggests a solution to the ‘horrors’ of sequestration :

Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer says President Obama could easily reduce the fear and panic engendered by the looming sequester if he would simply push Congress to pass a bill allowing a transfer of funds from less important federal accounts to more important federal accounts.

“And the president is the one who ought to propose it,” Krauthammer told Fox News on Wednesday. “He won’t, of course, because he is looking for a fight, and not a solution.”

You can’t cry ‘wolf’ or blame the Republicans if you actually solve the problem.

The former head of the Congressional Budget OfficeDouglas Holtz-Eakin, puts the whole thing in perspective:

Despite talk of how much the sequester will hurt ordinary Americans, Holtz-Eakin said the reality will be very different: “The day after the sequester starts, people will get up and go to work at federal agencies. You’ll see very minimal impacts, the kinds of things you hear about, you know, the sequester causing a recession.”

The former CBO chief noted that the sequester calls for an $85-billion reduction in spending in the current fiscal year — out of a $3.6-trillion budget. “It’s going to come and go without much notice. It’s a $16 trillion economy. This isn’t going to crater the economy.”

Quite frankly, I am very tired of President Obama telling us that we will all go to hell in a hand-basket if Congress does not do everything he says they should do exactly how and when he says they should do it. There is a reason we have three branches of government, and President Obama does not seem to understand that. This President seems to be acting like a spoiled child who throws temper tantrums when he does not get his own way. My grandchildren stand in the corner for that sort of behavior.

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Where Are We A Week After The Newtown Killings ?

It’s been a week since the horrible tragedy in Connecticut. There are screams for gun control, assault weapons bans, police at the schools, and all sorts of things. But an article in yesterday’s Washington Post sheds some light and common sense on the subject.

Charles Krauthammer was a psychiatrist in Massachusetts during the 1970’s. He has an interesting perspective on what happened last week.

Mr. Krauthammer states that there are three parts to every mass shooting–the killer, the weapon, and the cultural climate.

The article points out:

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

Regarding the weapon, Mr. Krauthammer states:

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

The article points out that over the past 30 years, the homicide rate in the United States has dropped 50 percent.

The article reminds us that gun violence is on the decline:

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

I tend to think that the fact that the murder rates are lower in states with strong civil commitment laws is significant. An article posted at The Blue Review on December 15th provides insight into what it is like to get appropriate treatment and possible restraint for a troubled child.

It’s time to look at all the elements of the tragedy at Newtown–not just the ones that are politically expedient.

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Why Was Hamas Firing Rockets At Israel ?

Yesterday Charles Krauthammer posted an article in the Washington Postasking the obvious question, “Why was there a war in Gaza?” Hamas claims that the firing of rockets on Israel was part of the resistance to the occupation. What occupation? That is an interesting question.

The article reports:

What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza. It dismantled every settlement, withdrew every soldier, evacuated every Jew, leaving nothing and no one behind. Except for the greenhouses in which the settlers had grown fruit and flowers for export. These were left intact to help Gaza’s economy — only to be trashed when the Palestinians took over.

Israel then declared its border with Gaza to be an international frontier, meaning that it renounced any claim to the territory and considered it an independent entity.

In effect, Israel had created the first Palestinian state ever, something never granted by fellow Muslims — neither the Ottoman Turks nor the Egyptians who brutally occupied Gaza for two decades before being driven out by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

So what is the problem? If Israel is not occupying Gaza, why are the rockets being fired?

The article further states:

Interrupted by the occasional truce, to be sure. But for Hamas a truce — hudna — is simply a tactic for building strength for the next round. It is never meant to be enduring, never meant to offer peace.

But why, given that there is no occupation of Gaza anymore? Because Hamas considers all of Israel occupied, illegitimate, a cancer, a crime against humanity, to quote the leaders of Iran, Hamas’s chief patron and arms supplier. Hamas’s objective, openly declared, is to “liberate” — i.e., destroy — Tel Aviv and the rest of pre-1967 Israel. Indeed, it is Hamas’s raison d’etre.

There will be no peace for Israel as long as Hamas holds power in Gaza and their charter calls for the destruction of Israel. If the western countries of the world truly want peace in the Middle East, they need to take that fact into consideration. Israel has survived another attempt to destroy it, but, unfortunately, this will not be the last attempt.

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A Few Thoughts On The Vice-Presidential Debate

The debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan last night probably didn’t change anything. I felt that the moderator was reasonably fair. Joe Biden had slightly more time than Paul Ryan, but it was basically even. The only thing I would have changed was to have the moderator stop the frequent interruptions by Joe Biden when Paul Ryan was talking. I was also totally turned off by Joe Biden’s lack of respect for Paul Ryan, as shown in the smirking, laughing, etc. at Paul Ryan’s answers.

The Daily Caller posted its commentary this morning.

The article quotes Charles Krauthammer:

“If you read the transcript, I think it’s dead even,” Krauthammer said. ”If you heard it on radio, Biden won. If you watched on television, he lost. In the transcript, if you just look at the raw arguments I think it was even because each side had points to make and made them. I think on balance, not one side was stronger than another.”

The article also pointed out that Paul Ryan was not always able to follow up when Joe Biden made statements that were not true:

…And Ryan reacted with, I thought, excessive deference, allowing himself to be cut off and often just ending with a point that you might understand — for instance, when he talked about the Catholic Bishops — he made a point after Biden had said, ‘Oh, the Bishops of the Catholic church is not going to be compelled to do anything under ObamaCare.’”

“Ryan said, ‘Then why is that the Bishops are suing the administration?’ But that is almost an aside, and it was lost, and then it was over by the next question.”

All in all, I thought it was a good debate. I don’t think it changes anything, but it was a good debate. I also appreciated that Martha Raddatz pressed Joe Biden when he repeated the lies that the Obama Administration has told about the attack on the American Embassy at Benghazi. Much of the mainstream media has not covered the Congressional hearings on the attack, and the American people need to be aware that they were purposely lied to.

Lies And Unnecessary Lies

Somehow missed by most of the major media (surprise), there was a discussion this week started by the White House about the bust of Winston Churchill that President Obama gave back to the British when he took office.

The White House Blog posted the following ‘Fact Check’:

Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column.  He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”

This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.

Well, it turns out that their fact check is false. In 2009, The Telegraph reported:

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure.

But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Diplomats were at first reluctant to discuss the whereabouts of the Churchill bronze, after its ejection from the seat of American power. But the British Embassy in Washington has now confirmed that it sits in the palatial residence of ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, just down the road from Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence. It is not clear whether the ambassador plans to keep it in Washington or send it back to London.

So what’s going on? Jake Tapper at ABC News reports:

Like a plot twist in a sitcom, IT TURNS OUT THERE ARE TWO CHURCHILL BUSTS!!!!!

The one in the White House residence was a gift to the White House from the British Embassy during the Johnson administration.

The other one was loaned to President George W. Bush by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

I realize that this is not earth-shaking, but why would the White House bother to lie about something so insignificant? Do these people have any confidence in the ability of the American voter to sort through truth and lies?

I truly question the wisdom of anyone who argues with Charles Krauthammer.

 

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Taking Advantage Of An Uninformed Electorate

 Charles Krauthammer posted an article today at National Review about the bill passed yesterday in Congress allowing a 60-day tax break for Americans. First of all, it is not a tax break–it is a raid on Social Security at a time when Social Security can least afford to be raided. Second of all, no sane government sets a two-month tax policy.

The Republicans had the right argument on principle–the tax cut needed to be for the full year, but they lost on the politics. The reason they lost on the politics is that most Americans were paying more attention to their Christmas shopping than to what was actually happening in Congress, and when the media (and the Democrats) told them that the Republicans were holding up their tax break, they believed it.

Dr. Krauthammer states:

To begin with, what even minimally rational government enacts payroll-tax relief for just two months? As a matter of practicality alone, it makes no sense. The National Payroll Reporting Consortium, representing those who process paychecks, said of the two-month extension passed by the Senate just days before the new year: “There is insufficient lead time to accommodate the proposal,” because “many payroll systems are not likely to be able to make such a substantial programming change before January or even February,” thereby “creat[ing] substantial problems, confusion and costs.”

He further states:

The House Republicans’ initial rejection of this two-month extension was therefore correct on principle and on policy. But this was absolutely the wrong place, the wrong time, to plant the flag. Once Senate Republicans overwhelmingly backed the temporary extension, that part of the fight was lost. Opposing it became kamikaze politics.

The responsibility for this debaucle ultimately rests with the American people (and the fact that the media was failing to report both sides of the story). If we have truly reached a point in our history when we are tired of politics as usual, then we need to be willing to do something about it. We need to pay enough attention so that politics cannot trump good policy. Until that happens, we will get more of the same.

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