George Will

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By: George Will | Posted: December 15, 2014 3:55 AM
 

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
-- Mr. Micawber in "David Copperfield"

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By: George Will | Posted: December 8, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. -- advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank -- have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives' promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- In 2010, Plymouth, Conn., was awarded $430,000 for widening sidewalks and related matters near two schools. This money was a portion of the $612 million Congress authorized for five years of the federal Safe Routes to School program intended to fight childhood obesity by encouraging children to burn calories by walking or biking to school. Really.

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By: George Will | Posted: December 1, 2014 3:55 AM
 

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

     -- Newton's Third Law of Motion 

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By: George Will | Posted: November 24, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Seen through the prism of subsequent national experience, Nelson Rockefeller resembles a swollen post-war automobile -- a land yacht with tail fins, a period piece, bemusing and embarrassing. He remains, however, instructive.

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By: George Will | Posted: November 13, 2014 3:55 PM
 

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's coming request for Congress to "right-size and update" the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development -- the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.

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By: George Will | Posted: November 10, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Now that two of the last three Democratic presidencies have been emphatically judged to have been failures, the world's oldest political party -- the primary architect of this nation's administrative state -- has some thinking to do. The accumulating evidence that the Democratic Party is an exhausted volcano includes its fixation with stale ideas, such as the supreme importance of a 23rd increase in the minimum wage. Can this party be so blinkered by the modest success of its third recent presidency, Bill Clinton's, that it will sleepwalk into the next election behind Hillary Clinton?

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By: George Will | Posted: November 6, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Unlike the dog that chased the car until, to its consternation, he caught it, Republicans know what do with what they have caught. Having completed their capture of control of the legislative branch, they should start with the following six measures concerning practical governance and constitutional equilibrium:

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By: George Will | Posted: November 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Mix a pitcher of martinis Tuesday evening to fortify yourself against the torrent of election returns painting a pointillist portrait of the nation's mind. Before you become too mellow to care, consider some indexes of our civic tendencies.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 27, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The early morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens' homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 16, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust, and prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let's hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to broadcasters who use the word "Redskins" when reporting on the Washington Redskins.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 13, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking -- the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina's State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty -- the right of Americans to earn a living without unreasonable government interference.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 9, 2014 3:55 AM
 

NEWARK, N.J. -- Gov. Chris Christie could be forgiven if he had chips on both shoulders as big as those shoulders. This year, the first of his second term, has been overshadowed by often partisan investigations, more protracted than productive, of the involvement of several of his former aides -- he fired them -- in the closing of some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

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By: George Will | Posted: October 2, 2014 3:55 AM
 

"The legislative department is everywhere ... drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."
-- James Madison, Federalist 48

WASHINGTON -- Unfortunately, Congress's vortex now spins the other way, throwing off powers that the executive scoops up. Hence this autumn's spectacle: Feverish House and Senate candidates waging ferocious campaigns to win or retain offices that are of rapidly diminishing significance.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 22, 2014 3:55 AM
 

 

WASHINGTON -- The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying -- starchier ethicists might call it bribing -- people to vote.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 11, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism -- measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty -- is rare. This week, however, extremism stained the Senate.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 8, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Speaking on Aug. 29 -- at a fundraiser, of course -- Barack Obama applied to a platitude the varnish of smartphone sociology, producing this intellectual sunburst: "The truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy. In part, we're just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through." So, if 14th- century Europeans had had Facebook and Twitter, they would have noticed how really disagreeable the Hundred Years' War was.

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By: George Will | Posted: September 4, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- The Islamic State is a nasty problem that can be remedied if its neighbors, assisted by the United States, decide to do so. Vladimir Putin's fascist revival is a crisis that tests the West's capacity to decide.

Putin's serial amputations of portions of Ukraine, which began with his fait accompli in Crimea, will proceed, and succeed, until his appetite is satiated. Then the real danger will begin.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 28, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Russia's ongoing dismemberment of Ukraine and the Islamic State's erasing of Middle Eastern borders have distracted attention from the harassment of U.S. Navy aircraft by Chinese fighter jets over the South China Sea. Beijing calls this sea, and the Yellow and East China seas, the "near seas," meaning China's seas. The episodes involving aircraft are relevant to one of Adm. Jonathan Greenert's multiplying preoccupations -- CUES, meaning Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 25, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- What is called "the" 1964 Civil Rights Act is justly celebrated for outlawing racial and other discrimination in employment, "public accommodations" and elsewhere. But that year's second civil rights act, the Criminal Justice Act, which is 50 years old this month, is, some say, largely a failure because of unanticipated changes in the legal and social context. Is it?

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By: George Will | Posted: August 18, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama, presiding over an unusually dismal post-recession economy, might make matters worse with a distracting crusade against the minor and sensible business practice called "inversion," more about which anon. So, consider his credentials as an economic thinker.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 14, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext." If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history's inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State?

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By: George Will | Posted: August 11, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Although the Ebola virus might remain mostly confined to West Africa, it has infected the Western imagination. This eruption of uncontrolled nature into what developed nations consider serene modernity is more disturbing to the emotional serenity of multitudes than it is threatening to their physical health.

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By: George Will | Posted: August 7, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: "I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it."

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By: George Will | Posted: July 31, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- With metronomic regularity, there is a choreographed minuet of carnage. Israel is attacked. Israel defends itself. Perfunctory affirmations of Israel's right of self-defense are quickly followed by accusations that Israel's military measures are disproportionate. Then come demands for a cease-fire, and the attackers replenish their arsenals.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 28, 2014 3:55 AM
 

PORTLAND, Ore. -- "Are you kidding?" This is Monica Wehby's amiable response to people who wonder whether she will be able to bear the pressures of office if she wins her race as a Republican Senate candidate. For 17 of her 52 years she has been a pediatric neurosurgeon, holding in steady hands sharp steel and the fate of children's brains. She probably can cope with the strains of legislative life.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 24, 2014 3:55 AM
 

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months. Besides, his don't-fence-me-in libertarian conservatism was ahead of its time. His agenda, however, was to change his party's national brand.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 7, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.

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By: George Will | Posted: July 3, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Even when Supreme Court decisions are unanimous, the justices can be fiercely divided about fundamental matters, as was demonstrated by two 9-0 rulings last week.

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By: George Will | Posted: June 30, 2014 3:55 AM
 

WASHINGTON -- Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not.

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