Off the Record

We are all descended from some ancestors, but which ones?

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) launches her presidential bid, she’s scrambling to repair the damage caused by her decades-long claim of native ancestry. Liberal media is helping her by putting favorable spin on the story or ignoring it altogether.

Some things improve in afterlife

Reading the press accolades for the late President George H.W. Bush, it was difficult to reconcile today’s “revered statesman” with the “wimp” label the media pinned on him in office.

As vice president and then president in the 1980s and early 1990s, Bush was portrayed by the press as an out-of-touch bumbler, a national joke on late-night TV and in newsrooms. White House correspondents delighted in catching Bush in gaffes and in pointing out what, in their liberal view, were his wrong-headed policy positions, which was just about all of them.

Post election aftermath of the U.S. Senate hearing

If the left was energized in the midterms by hatred of President Trump, the right was motivated by rage at what Democrats did to Brett Kavanaugh. The former helped Democrats take the House. The latter helped Republicans keep the Senate.

The Ford-Kavanaugh Senate hearing was always about politics and the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation. But it was also about the rule of law. Who were you going to believe in the absence of proof? And how would that dynamic play out in future cases?

Fair and balanced, or not at all?

Brett Kavanaugh was as calm as could be expected at the Senate hearing Sept. 27, for someone who has been publicly accused and convicted without proof of assault, rape and exposure.

The people who have been truly hysterical throughout all this are not Kavanaugh or Christine Ford, but the media, especially The New York Times. Their parsing of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook in a desperate search for evidence of bad character takes investigative journalism to a new low.

Enemy of the people; or, war is hell

If the press doesn’t like being called the enemy of the people, perhaps it shouldn’t be waging war against the president of the people — or at least the president of the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump.

Dickinson: A famous poet’s faded photographs

“Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality.”

— Emily Dickinson


Eyeball injections are fun. Really.

When my doctor told me two years ago that she was sending me to an eye specialist who might give me eyeball injections, I just smiled. There was about as much chance of my sitting still for eyeball injections as there was of Donald Trump’s being elected president that fall.

Two years later, Trump has been president for 18 months and I’ve had 20 eye injections. So much for complacency.

But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought (the injections, I mean. Trump, of course, has been worse).

Democrats make hay, but share the blame

President Trump’s signing of an executive order halting the temporary separation of illegal families at the border came too late to prevent his millions of adversaries from making political hay of the issue.

A visit to the Gray Lady

The New York Times recently held a reception at its Manhattan skyscraper for its “regulars” — a group of about 60 people whose letters it prints on a regular basis.

The Times receives 400 to 600 letters a day from every geographic location and partisan persuasion. Out of this flood it prints as many voices as it can, but the regulars get printed over and over, sometimes for decades.

Physical and intellectual harassment: drawing lines

Drafting rules to govern workplace harassment seems to be as difficult as monitoring free speech on college campuses. In both cases, subjectivity and politics keep getting in the way.

On campus, liberal students know they can claim that any conservative speaker or idea is harmful and their administrators will respond like Pavlovian dogs and coddle them.