John Hayward

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Pope Francis versus capitalism

I found it necessary to respectfully disagree with Pope Francis the last time he took a swing at capitalism.  On that occasion, it seemed likely that his remarks were more specifically directed at sweatshop exploitation in the Third World, which had recently taken a horrible toll in human life.  But of course, the Left seized upon him as a new champion of socialism who wanted to throw down against economic liberty in general. Nov 29, 2013 5:04 AM PT

Fumble, ShamWow, and the Obama history will remember

History will record that the real Barack Obama, long obscured by political trickery and a protective media, became clearly visible in the two remarkable press conferences he held as the ObamaCare disaster unfolded: the "ShamWow" presser, in which he acted like the manic host of a TV infomercial and directed Americans to circumvent his inert $500 million website by calling a rather unfortunately chosen 800 number; and the "Fumble" presser, in which he claimed the failure of HealthCareDotGov was a stunning surprise to him, mused that buying insurance is a lot more complicated than he thought when he seized control of the industry, and invited insurance providers to cut down on the tidal wave of policy cancellations by violating the law for a year. Nov 27, 2013 9:23 PM PT

The Medicaid bait-and-switch

The White House has, according to insider reports, pretty much given up on defending most of ObamaCare, and is planning a 2014 political strategy that will focus heavily upon its Medicaid expansion.  All the old technocratic pretensions of "reforming" health insurance and "improving" it for everybody will be cast aside, in favor of good old-fashioned Big Government welfare-state vote buying.   Nov 26, 2013 9:37 AM PT

Couldn't Obama have asked Iran to release its American hostages before he capitulated on nukes?

If there's one thing worse than appeasement, it's lazy appeasement.  It's an absolute disgrace that Barack Obama and John Kerry didn't insist on the release of all American hostages held by Iran as a Step 1 precondition for any proposed deal.  That should have been the condition for opening negotiations, but somehow they forgot to even bring it up as part of the capitulation that will guarantee Iran gets its long-desired nuclear bomb, along with looser sanctions and $7 billion in up-front cash rewards. Nov 26, 2013 7:39 AM PT

Movie review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

If you liked the first "Hunger Games" film, you're bound to enjoy the second installment, "Catching Fire."  Many of the same elements are in place; it deliberately plays like a retread of the first story at first, with our heroes forced to repeat history and play the deadly Hunger Games again by a nervous dictatorship that really doesn't like the way people in the subjugated Districts are flashing Katniss Everdeen a three-finger salute and whistling her theme song.  Before long Katniss and her fake-but-maybe-not boyfriend Peeta are suiting up for a clever all-stars version of the Games (just like modern-day reality shows always have an all-star season sooner or later, except this also serves the evil government's goal of liquidating Katniss and the rest of the celebrity Games survivors.) Nov 24, 2013 9:52 PM PT

The post-nuclear political landscape

One of the things that troubles me about Harry Reid's "nuclear option" is that it strongly appears to be a prelude for even further weakening of the minority.  President Obama's statement of support for the move certainly supports that impression.  But even if the push to diminish the minority's influence ends with the destruction of "advice and consent" on nominees, it's still very significant.   Nov 22, 2013 12:26 PM PT

Slavery is not dead, nor does it sleep

No sooner do I post a review of "12 Years a Slave" then a story about the enduring institution of slavery appears in Britain.  The captives rescued from slavery were a 57-year-old Irish woman, a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, and a 30-year old British woman, rescued from a couple of 67-year-old captors in south London after a reported thirty years of slavery for the older women. Nov 22, 2013 7:11 AM PT

Movie review: '12 Years a Slave'

Movies in the horror genre sometimes run into the problem of being too effective.  A horror film can be so frightening, gruesome, or depressing that it turns the audience off (except, of course, for the subset of die-hard fans who love the really extreme stuff.)  A good movie can work its dark wonders so well that it becomes unpleasant to watch. Nov 21, 2013 8:42 PM PT


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