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Columns

Inequality Is Up? But So Is Happiness

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A prominent researcher at Cal Tech reports surprising data contradicting common liberal assumptions that inequality brings misery. Gaps between rich and poor grew dramatically during the recession but Steven Quartz reports “the percentage of Americans who say they are thriving has actually increased.”  What’s more, “happiness inequality” has gone down: men have no longer report less happiness than women, while the differences between blacks and whites are also smaller. With inequality, how have...

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Challenging “The Candidate of Experience”

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks at a "Club 44" campaign event for Clinton in Washington

The Hillary for President team takes great encouragement from recent polling showing Americans seeking “experience” in a candidate for president more than a “new direction.” They will therefore position their candidate as a seasoned “pragmatic problem solver” and “middle class champion.” But in terms of experience, what will they emphasize? First, in Ms. Clinton’s eight years as First Lady, her most heralded effort created “HillaryCare” – the disastrous insurance reform so unpopular it cost...

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Rand and Ted Begin Their Excellent Adventure

U.S. Senator Cruz stands with family after confirming his candidacy for president in Lynchburg, Virginia

But Who Won in the Dueling Announcements of Candidacy?   Rand Paul may not beat Ted Cruz in presidential primaries, but he certainly topped him in his announcement of candidacy. In the end, neither of these freshman senators (Paul has served four years in Washington; Cruz has been there for two) is likely to win the GOP nomination but they are the first pair to formally enter the race, and they’re competing for the same segment of party, so it’s pertinent to compare their performances. When it comes to...

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Does Sex Deserve More Protection than Faith?

Sincere Prayer

The irresponsible media hype surrounding the so-called “Battle of Indiana” emphasized the issue of gay rights—even though not one word in the Hoosier State’s religious liberty law impacted the lives or liberties of gays and lesbians. The press promoted the pernicious idea that legislation protecting the right of people of faith to follow their consciences somehow diminished the right of sexual minorities to follow their orientations and instincts in intimate arrangements.   Actually, private sexual...

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Do Disproportionate Crime Rates Mean Racist Laws?

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Maryland

African-Americans make up 40 percent of the nation’s prison inmates, but only 13 percent of the overall population. Does this mean the laws that sentenced these prisoners are all racist, and need to be repealed? Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul seems to think so.   In his announcement of candidacy, when describing his vision for America, Senator Paul declared: “I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is...

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How to Handle a Problematic Father

U.S. Senator Paul announces candidacy for president during an event in Louisville

In his recent announcement of candidacy, Rand Paul faced a dilemma in how to acknowledge the presence of his father, former Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. The family patriarch has compiled a long history of isolationism, support for crackpot conspiracy theories, expressions of sympathy for Iran and hostility to Israel. Such controversial perspectives would obviously interfere with his son’s efforts to build a winning coalition. So the candidate’s only introduction of his father...

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Musical Establishment Compares “Brutality” of Talk Radio to Islamic Extremism

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Of all the foolish and illogical themes of the international left, the “moral equivalence” argument may count as the most annoying of all. For more than fifty years, progressives have advanced the moronic idea that because America is imperfect, we have no right to criticize evil, mass murder or grotesque tyranny anywhere else. During the Cold War, progressives objected to describing Stalinist Russia as an “evil empire” by offering constant reminders that the United States regularly broke treaties with...

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Religious Liberty, Gay Rights, Both Threatened by Government

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In order to find the proper perspective for controversies in Indiana and other states over “religious liberty” legislation, it’s worth looking back at the long history of sodomy laws in the United States. That’s not because the rules to protect religious believers compare in outrageousness with the criminalizing of gay sex, but because the core issue in both cases remains the same. Sodomy laws and RFRA laws both involve the power of government to control private behavior — something...

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For Her Campaign, Hillary Selects Contradictory Goals

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the 2015 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting award in Washington

The Democratic frontrunner has reportedly selected the two themes she plans to emphasize in her presidential campaign but seems unconcerned that the twin goals contradict one another. The March 23 headline in the New York Times proclaimed “Hillary Clinton Tests Two Themes for 2016: Working Together and Inequality.” Laura Meckler reports on a panel discussion at the left-leaning Center for American  Progress in which the former Secretary of State “road-tested the two themes likely to shape her pitch to the...

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Why Big Companies Claim a Race Crisis

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Is America in 2015  facing a major crisis in race relations? Some significant players in the corporate world have invested money and prestige in a major effort to get you to think so. How do major companies, or the nation at large, benefit from persuading the public that the United States suffers as never before from racial inequality and oppression? Starbucks, purveyor of coffee-related products to the known universe, has combined with USA Today, one of the nation’s leading circulation newspapers, in what...

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