Cal Thomas

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We are about to find out whether Democrats meant it when they lamented the loss of civility in Washington. Having won the majority in the House of Representatives in Tuesday's election, will they cooperate with Republicans and "reach across the aisle," or will they pander to their base, which wants President Trump's blood? Guess which scenario I'm betting on Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who will likely head the Financial Services Committee, has promised to seek revenge on the banks, which she notes loaned money to people in the '90s so they could buy houses they couldn't afford. 



"Some of my best friends are Jews." That familiar, yet offensive, phrase has been used by some people as a defense against an accusation of anti-Semitism. It's time, however, to rebrand it as a positive affirmation of love and concern for the Jewish people. In light of the latest mass shooting, this time at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a man who yelled "all Jews must die," there couldn't be a better time to reach out to Jewish friends and acquaintances with statements of support, and to publicly and loudly reject the hate directed at them.



Just in time for Halloween comes a former male stripper, who drove a van with Trump stickers plastered all over it, being charged with sending pipe bombs to top Democratic leaders, a journalist and at least one celebrity, all of whom have been vocal critics of President Trump. The New York Post headline was the cleverest: "Caught Red Hatted: Steroid-abusing Florida stripper driving Trump van is charged with Dem bomb spree." The Post reported that the accused, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was said to be lost and a "sick individual" who is estranged from his family, but eventually "found a father" in President Trump. He also hates his mother, according to Ronald Lowy, his Miami attorney.



Is it more than coincidence that thousands of migrants from Central America are seeking to enter the United States illegally just two weeks before the midterm election? Who are these people? Who's paying for their transportation, food and expenses? Why doesn't the media find out? Is this migrant caravan a ploy by Democrats to win sympathy from Hispanic voters so they'll reverse their growing approval of Trump administration policies and vote against their interests?



As difficult as it may be to believe, there was a time when Republicans were known as the anti-debt and balanced budget party. Now, the GOP prefers to tout low unemployment as the debt soars and they are co-conspirators in its rise. It's not that Republicans (and once-fiscally responsible Democrats) lack a way out of debt; it's that they lack the will. Both parties, but especially Republicans, fear a backlash from voters if they cut spending, much less make actual reductions.



JERUSALEM -- Major media are now reporting that the Saudis are "preparing" to admit that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, died in their consulate in Istanbul, as the result of an interrogation gone wrong. Odds are good that admittance will never come. The Saudi's response, whatever it is, will likely not satisfy the Trump administration, nor should it. Instead, appropriate action by the U.S. should be taken.



Arguably a contributing factor to the continuation of abortion is that it is performed out of sight and thus, out of many minds. A film about one of the worst practitioners of abortion, Kermit Gosnell, opens October 12 in at least 600 theaters. Gosnell is the Philadelphia abortionist sentenced in 2013 to life in prison without parole. The film is based on trial transcripts and police records.



In a speech announcing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) reminded me of some of the great orators of the past. Her speech was measured in tone, substantive in content and delivered with conviction. Collins is no conservative. She has voted in favor of abortion and same-sex marriage while towing a more moderate line on economics. Her speech supporting Kavanaugh and denouncing the smears against him and the distortion of his judicial record was as good as any delivered by her more conservative colleagues.



Who believes another FBI investigation of Brett Kavanaugh will be the end of it? If the FBI finds nothing to support Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party, will it be enough for Democrats to vote to confirm him? Republicans say the investigation is limited to her charge and that of a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, whose allegations, detailed in a sworn affidavit, claim she was the victim of gang rape. How many more will come forward? 



At times Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh sounded rehearsed and overly cautious in their “exclusive” interview with Fox News host Martha McCallum Monday night. Brett Kavanaugh repeated verbatim lines about defending his character and allowing the “process” to play out. He said he would not withdraw in the face of unsubstantiated charges against him. At times their answers seemed coached, but then it is likely that when Christine Blasey Ford testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she, too, will provide answers that have been well rehearsed.



The Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus announced last year it was closing after a 146-year run, largely because of high operating costs, costly legal battles with animal rights groups and declining ticket sales, especially after elephants were retired from the show. Brett Kavanaugh's embattled nomination for the Supreme Court has become a circus, and it's time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider closing it to the public.



The woman who alleged in a confidential letter that as a high school student in Maryland in the '80s Brett Kavanaugh "pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it" has now revealed her identity to (surprise!) the Washington Post.



Since Robert Bork’s “borking” 30 years ago, Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for a high court nominee by a Republican president have become predictable. Democrats, who favor a “living Constitution,” meaning whatever they think the founding document ought to say, are pitted against “originalists,” who believe the document speaks for itself and should be taken as something only slightly less compelling than holy writ.



Sexual scandals and inappropriate behavior are as old as the Bible. I give you (1 Corinthians 5:1) in which Paul writes: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife.” In more modern times, there have been sex scandals involving TV evangelists from Aimee Semple McPherson in the '20s to Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in the '80s. And there have been more recent examples, too, Ted Haggard, Bob Coy, Bill Gothard.



Finding someone in Washington who is nonpartisan and puts the nation’s interests ahead of their own is so rare these days that he or she, if found, might well qualify as an endangered species. But once in a while — call it the law of averages — someone speaks the truth. It happened last week when Mark Penn, former adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, wrote a column for The Hill newspaper in which he claimed there is a big difference between how Hillary Clinton and President Trump have been treated when it comes to allegations of criminal behavior.



If you are frustrated by wait times to see your doctor, the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, just wait until there may be no doctor to see. NBC News recently broadcast a story about how fewer young people are entering the medical profession. The network cited a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges that “projected a shortage of 42,600 to 121,300 physicians by 2030, up from its 2017 projected shortage of 40,800 to 104,900 doctors.”



What does a white boy from the white suburbs of Washington, D.C., have to say about the passing of soul singer Aretha Franklin? At 16, I was a DJ on a local radio station, playing the rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop recordings of the day. Many of the artists were black. Richard Penniman (aka “Little Richard”) tells a funny story about white kids back then. In “Hail, Hail, Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the 1987 documentary about Chuck Berry, Little Richard noted that white kids would have Pat Boone’s albums on the top of their dressers to fool their parents, but the records of black artists hidden inside the dresser drawers.



Where have we seen this play before: A woman comes forward to accuse a conservative of inappropriate behavior in hopes of harming him sufficiently so he will be unable to achieve his policy objectives? People with even short memories will recall “act one” was Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, who in 1991 accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Ultimately, it was Hill’s word against Thomas’ and he was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Senate vote of 52-48.



Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the sci-fi movie classic “The Matrix,” which depicts powerful machines attempting to subdue the human race. Sometimes art imitates life, and sometimes it’s the other way around. On occasion, art can be prophetic. “The Matrix” is such a film. It warns of a future in which the power and worth of the individual is subsumed into one giant interconnected world run by a tiny elite, who rob individuals of their liberty and ability to think freely.



Every president since George Washington has suffered from a critical press. John F. Kennedy canceled all White House subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune because of coverage he regarded as unfavorable. President Obama, who was almost universally adored by mainstream media, sometimes complained he wasn’t getting all the credit he thought he deserved for his policies; never mind that in many cases — Obamacare is just one example — liberal media rarely criticized him when those policies faltered.