Football Focus 2014

Articles filed under Will, George

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  • Digesting the Twinkies’ lessons Nov 27, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: The market said that Hostess as configured made no sense. If, however, Twinkies and perhaps other Hostess brands retain value, the market will say so, and someone will produce them. Probably in a right-to-work state, which is how "entrepreneurial federalism" (another Boorstin phrase) should wor

     
  • For this, we give thanks Nov 22, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Among the things for which Americans can, on this weekend of feasting, be thankful is Washington's resolve to temper severity with mercy: It will seriously — this time we really mean business, we are not going to be Greece, or worse, Illinois — restrain spending but will not balance the budget on the backs of popcorn eaters.

     
  • Give consumer protection bureau a day in court Nov 19, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: The CFPB nullifies Congress' power to use the power of the purse to control bureaucracies because its funding — "determined by the director" — comes not from congressional appropriations but from the Federal Reserve. Untethered from all three branches of government, unlike anything created since 1789, the CFPB is uniquely sovereign

     
  • Starting all over again Nov 13, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Conservatives are hardly starting from scratch in their continuing courtship of an electorate half of which embraced their message more warmly than it did this year's messenger.

     
  • Status quo preserved Nov 9, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: This election was fought over two issues as old as the Republic, the proper scope and actual competence of government. The president persuaded — here the popular vote is the decisive datum — almost exactly half the voters. The argument continues. As Benjamin Disraeli said, "Finality is not the language of politics."

     
  • America, finally home? Oct 25, 2012 8:46 AM
    Columnist George Will: The death of George McGovern on the eve of the presidential candidates' foreign policy debate underscored a momentous political reversal spanning four decades. McGovern's nomination for president in 1972 made the country uneasy about his party regarding national security. Four decades later, however, voters may be more ambivalent about America's world role than at any time since the 1930s.

     
  • Seeds of our dysfunction Oct 22, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Democracy is representative government, which is the problem. Democracy represents the public's preferences, which are mutable, but also represents human nature, which is constant. People flinch from confronting difficult problems until driven to by necessity's lash.

     
  • Too big to maintain? Oct 17, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: It is inexplicable politics and regrettable policy that Romney has, so far, flinched from a forthright endorsement of breaking up the biggest banks. This stance by him would be credible because of his background and would be intelligible to voters because of its clarity.

     
  • Humpty Dumpty over recess Oct 13, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: The constitutional guarantee of congressional self-governance, combined with the Senate’s determination that it was in session Jan. 4, destroys Obama’s position, which is that he can declare the Senate in recess whenever he wishes to exercise what the Framers explicitly denied to presidents — a unilateral appointments power. Consider this episode when deciding whether on Jan. 20, 2013, he should again have a chance to swear to (only selectively) defend the Constitution.

     
  • Romney’s trifecta Oct 7, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Before Denver, Obama's campaign was a protracted exercise in excuse abuse, and the promise that he will stay on the statist course he doggedly defends despite evidence of its futility. After Denver, Romney's campaign should advertise that promise.

     
  • It’s debatable Oct 1, 2012 10:27 AM
    The spectacles we persist in dignifying as presidential “debates” — two-minute regurgitations of rehearsed responses — often subtract from the nation’s understanding. But beginning Wednesday, these less-than-Lincoln-Douglas episodes might be edifying if the candidates can be inveigled into plowing fresh ground. Concerning the Judiciary Although the average age of the Supreme Court justices (66) is less than that of the Rolling Stones (68), three justices will be in their 80s before the next presidential term ends, so the next president probably can solidify today’s conservative majority or create a liberal majority. For Mitt Romney: Many conservatives advocate “judicial restraint.” They denounce “judicial activism” and define it as not properly deferring to decisions by government’s majoritarian branches. Other conservatives praise “judicial engagement” and define it as actively defending liberty against overbearing majorities. Do you favor “restraint” or “engagement”? Do you reject the Kelo decision, in which the Supreme Court deferred to governments’ desire to seize private property and give it to wealthier private interests who would pay higher taxes? For Barack Obama: You deplore the court’s Citizens United decision. What is your constitutional basis for rejecting the decision’s principle that Americans do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they come together in corporate entities (mostly nonprofit advocacy corporations such as the Sierra Club) to speak collectively? You say you would “seriously consider” amending the First Amendment to empower Congress to regulate political speech. Explain why you choose to make the Bill of Rights less protective. For Romney: The Republican platform endorses using “whatever legislative method is most feasible” to ban flag desecration. Can you distinguish this from the anti-blasphemy laws in some Islamic countries? Should we criminalize expressive acts that offend? Concerning Foreign Policy For both: On Oct. 7, we begin the 12th year of the war in Afghanistan, and 51 recent NATO fatalities have been at the hands of our supposed Afghan allies, causing U.S. commanders to indefinitely suspend many joint operations. Why are we staying there 27 more months? For Romney: You envision “countervailing duties” to punish China for manipulating the value of its currency. Do the “quantitative easings” by Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve, which vastly expanded the money supply, constitute currency manipulation? Would duties increasing the prices Americans pay for Chinese imports violate your vow to not raise taxes? For Obama: Your campaign boasts about increasing the number of unfair-trade charges against China. How would Americans’ welfare be enhanced by raising the prices they pay for consumer goods and production materials from China? For both: You are correct that China subsidizes politically connected businesses. Does not our Export-Import Bank do this? For Obama: Are GM and Chrysler subsidized? Are they politically connected businesses? Concerning Domestic Policy For Obama: Your opponent proposes cutting income tax rates 20 percent and implies paying for this partly by means testing some deductions (e.g., mortgage interest payments and charitable giving). Do you oppose his plan for making the income tax more progressive? For Romney: You say “redistribution” has “never been a characteristic of America.” You’re kidding, right? Is not redistribution one purpose of progressive taxation? Is not most of what government does — from agriculture subsidies to subsidized student loans to entitlements — the redistribution of wealth from one cohort or region to another? For Obama: You recently said changing Washington “from the outside” is “how some of our biggest accomplishments like health care got done — mobilizing the American people.” You’re kidding, right? A majority of the American people never supported passage of Obamacare. Did you not secure passage by deals with Big Pharma and other inside Washington players? For both: Do you agree that a financial institution that is too big to fail is too big to exist? If not, why not? The biggest banks emerged from the Great Recession bigger. At the end of 2011, the five biggest (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs) held more than $8.5 trillion in assets, which is 56 percent of the 2011 GDP. Why should they not be broken up? For Obama: Your deep blue Illinois — like another essentially one-party Democratic state, California — is buckling under the weight of its portion of the estimated $2.5 trillion in unfunded state pension obligations. Will you promise to oppose attempts to force the taxpayers to bail out badly governed states? For both: Do you assume the Almighty is not paying attention whenever you say “I approve this message”? George Will’s email address is georgewill@washpost.com. © 2012, Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • An attack on free speech Sep 28, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Did Ann Landers and Dear Abby conduct 50-year crime sprees by offering unlicensed psychological advice? Is personal advice as constitutionally unprotected as child pornography?

     
  • From Utah, with Love Sep 23, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: In March 2008, in the speech ostensibly explaining the inexplicable — his 20 years in the pews of the raving Rev. Jeremiah Wright — candidate Barack Obama referred to "a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years." Hardly.

     
  • The tangled web of conflicting rights Sep 18, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: In the name of tolerance, government declares intolerable individuals such as the Huguenins, who disapprove of a certain behavior but ask only to be let alone in their quiet disapproval. Perhaps advocates of gay rights should begin to restrain the bullies in their ranks.

     
  • Pigskin progressivism Sep 10, 2012 11:14 AM
    Columnist George Will: Walter Camp, an early shaper of the rules and structure of intercollegiate football, saw football as basic training for the managerial elites demanded by corporations. Progressives saw football as training managers for the modern regulatory state.

     
  • Voters, are you bluffing? Aug 30, 2012 10:08 AM
    Now begins the final phase of this cognitive dissonance campaign. America’s 57th presidential election is the first devoted to calling the nation’s bluff. When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan, Republicans undertook the perilous but commendable project of forcing voters to face the fact that they fervently hold flatly incompatible beliefs. Twice as many Americans identify themselves as conservative as opposed to liberal. Nov. 6 we will know if they mean it. If they are ideologically conservative but operationally liberal. If they talk like Jeffersonians but want to be governed by Hamiltonians. If their commitment to limited government is rhetorical or actual. If it is, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan suspected, a “civic religion, avowed but not constraining.” This is the problem for uneasy Republicans. The Democrats’ problem is worse because they are not uneasy about their dissonance, being blissfully unaware of it. In “Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic” — a book more measured and scholarly than its overwrought title — Jay Cost of The Weekly Standard says the party has succumbed to “clientelism,” the process of purchasing cohorts of voters with federal favors. This has turned the party into the servant of the strong. Before Franklin Roosevelt, “liberal” described policies emphasizing liberty and individual rights. He, however, pioneered the politics of collective rights — of group entitlements. And his liberalism systematically developed policies not just to buy the allegiance of existing groups but to create groups that henceforth would be dependent on government. Under FDR, liberalism became the politics of creating an electoral majority from a mosaic of client groups. Labor unions got special legal standing, farmers got crop supports, business people got tariff protection and other subsidies, the elderly got pensions, and so on and on. Government no longer existed to protect natural rights but to confer special rights on favored cohorts. As Irving Kristol said, the New Deal preached not equal rights for all but equal privileges for all — for all, that is, who banded together to become wards of the government. In the 1960s, public-employee unions were expanded to feast from quantitative liberalism (favors measured in quantities of money). And qualitative liberalism was born as environmentalists, feminists and others got government to regulate behavior in the service of social “diversity,” “meaningful” work, etc. Cost notes that with the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act, a few government-approved minorities were given an entitlement to public offices: About 40 “majority-minority” congressional districts would henceforth be guaranteed to elect minority members. Walter Mondale, conceding to Ronald Reagan after the 1984 election, listed the groups he thought government should assist: “the poor, the unemployed, the elderly, the handicapped, the helpless and the sad.” Yes, the sad. Republicans also practice clientelism, but with a (sometimes) uneasy conscience. Both parties have narrowed their appeals as they have broadened their search for clients to cosset. Today’s Democratic Party does not understand what one of its saints understood — that big government is generally a patron of the privileged, a partner of rent-seekers. When vetoing the 1832 bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States, Andrew Jackson said, “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” When government goes beyond equal protection by law and undertakes to allocate wealth and opportunity, “the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government.” As Cost rightly says, “With the exception of the Tea Party, there is no real faction out there making the Jacksonian case for an end to special privilege.” Human beings, said one of the wisest of them — Aristotle — are political animals and language-using animals. Americans, as you do not need to be Aristotle to know, are complaining animals. They use language to complain about politics. Mitt Romney should remind them that one function of elections is to force most voters — the winning majorities — to forfeit the fun of complaining. For example, if the swing state of Nevada, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate (12 percent), votes for four more years of current policies, it must henceforth suffer in silence. Actually, all those who vote to continue Barack Obama’s distinctive brand of clientelism — crony capitalism — must, if he wins, become political Trappists, taking a vow to keep quiet. George Will’s email address is georgewill@washpost.com. © 2012, Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • A Big Ten strategy for GOP? Aug 28, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Mitt Romney's great political challenge is to wean Obama supporters away by making them faintly embarrassed about their former infatuation.

     
  • Why government needs a diet Aug 24, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: Research indicates that overweight individuals have "reasonably close" to accurate estimates of the increased health risks and decreased life expectancy associated with obesity. Hence the weakness of mandated information as a modifier of behavior.

     
  • It’s a question of context Aug 13, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist George Will: President Obama's supporters suggest that among presidents, he ranks as the most learned since John Quincy Adams and the most rhetorically gifted politician since Pericles. Yet, remarkably, he is frequently misunderstood. How can this be?

     
  • In the company of Madison Aug 5, 2012 12:45 PM
    Columnist George Will: Ted Cruz's victory in Tuesday's Texas Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate nomination is the most impressive triumph yet for the still-strengthening tea party impulse

     
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