Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist and author
Latest from Cal Thomas
You had to be there 50 years ago, and I was. As a young reporter for a local TV station in Houston, I frequently visited NASA (“the space base,” we dubbed it), met many of the astronauts and reported on their exploits. Along with people from around the world, I watched the lunar landing on television, July 20, 1969, fulfilling President Kennedy's goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of that decade.
Two summers ago on a visit to Budapest, I asked the spokesman for the Hungarian government about the growing problem of migrants coming into Europe. He told me Hungary doesn't have a migrant problem because they don't have welfare programs. So, he said, migrants continue their travels to other European countries that do.
The likelihood I would ever be invited to serve on a network panel questioning the Democratic presidential candidates is equivalent to an invitation to take the next trip to the moon. Still, as I tortured myself watching the two “debates,” which were not really debates, but mostly a show of memorized sound bites, I thought of unasked questions that ought to have been put to them all
I never thought I would write this, but the publisher of The New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, is right. Sulzberger wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in response to President Trump's claim that his newspaper committed “treason” by publishing a story about U.S. efforts to compromise Russia's power grid should Moscow again try to meddle in U.S. elections. The Times says it consulted National Security officials who raised no objections to its publication.
The media and Democrats are agog over President Trump's comment to former Bill Clinton adviser and current Good Morning America host, George Stephanopoulos. Trump said if a foreign power had "dirt" on one of his political opponents he'd "listen" and would not necessarily inform the FBI. Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough writes that Hillary Clinton was once fine with obtaining dirt on her opponents from foreign sources. Recall the Steele dossier?
Only the most partisan person would begrudge prayers for the president of the United States, but a recent visit by President Trump to the mega McLean Bible Church in Virginia has rubbed some congregants the wrong way. The White House informed the church with only a few minutes notice that the president would be coming to the service after finishing a round of golf at a nearby course. It was a Sunday on which some Christian leaders had called for special prayers for the president and others wished to pray for the victims and relatives in the recent shooting in Virginia Beach.
Observances of the 75th anniversary of D-Day are properly focusing on the troops and the architect of Operation Overlord, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who freed Europe from Hitler and his Nazi hordes. One person — a woman — has not received the credit she deserves for her efforts with the French Resistance. Without her daring and heroism, the war would most assuredly have been prolonged and many more lives would have been lost.
It's a familiar quote from Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist, but with special contemporary relevance in light of a statement last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: “‘If the law supposes that,’ said Mr. Bumble... ‘the law is a ass — a idiot.’” But it isn't so much that the law is fractured, rather it is practitioners who sometimes do it an injustice.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the release of self-admitted “American Taliban” member John Walker Lindh “unexplainable and unconscionable.” Lindh, who was paroled last Thursday from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, served 17 years of a 20-year sentence for illegally aiding Taliban forces. Lindh had joined the terrorist organization before September 11, 2001. He was in Afghanistan at the time and was also there when a group of Taliban prisoners murdered CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann.
Since 1973, when Roe vs. Wade ushered in what would eventually lead to abortion on demand, including partial-birth abortion and even the failure to protect babies born alive after failed procedures — the pro-life movement has achieved few legislative victories. That may be about to change. While New York and several other states have passed statutes effectively allowing infanticide, more conservative states are passing “heartbeat” bills and other restrictions.
It was Oscar Levant who uttered the famous line: “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.” In a way it was a backhanded compliment to a woman who represented in most of her film roles an image of chastity and virtue that was once mostly promoted in American culture, though not always practiced in private lives, including hers. Day, who died last Monday at age 97, became a friend late in her life.
In a country preoccupied with presidential candidates preaching extreme liberalism and even unabashed socialism comes America's greatest living historian, David McCullough, with a new and needed book. It's called The Pioneers and the subtitle is its theme: “The heroic story of the settlers who brought the American ideal west” (Simon and Schuster). Nowadays, while students at universities and public schools are learning a history often tainted by political correctness and revisionism, McCullough writes of a young country that might have been stillborn were it not for these pioneers.
It took a few days, but The New York Times finally got around to apologizing for publishing in its international edition a grossly anti-Semitic cartoon depicting a blind President Trump wearing a yarmulke and being led by a dog resembling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The dog wore a Star of David around its neck. At first The Times blamed a single editor and poor oversight, but Sunday the newspaper issued a formal apology.
The long arm of the PC police has reached back to the '30s and arrested, prosecuted and sentenced the late singer Kate Smith. Smith, who popularized Irving Berlin's song “God Bless America” and was a female pioneer in early television, recorded songs that today in hindsight are viewed as racist. An old friend, Harry Covert, writes to recall the early days of black-and-white TV when he (and I) watched Kate Smith's television program.
Objectivity, like Elvis, long ago left the building in Washington and so the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is being read and interpreted through mostly biased eyes. Democrats, who had counted on Mueller to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, were initially as crestfallen as they were on election night 2016. Still, they are undeterred in the pursuit of their ultimate goal: evicting the president from the White House in a political coup unprecedented in American history.
LIBERIA, Costa Rica — In the ongoing U.S. debate about immigration, the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are mainly in the news because many of those crossing our border from Mexico are from these nations. Why isn't Costa Rica experiencing a similar mass exodus? I put the question to President Carlos Alvarado Quesada. In an email response he writes in part, “8 percent of our GDP is dedicated to education and our main resource is the human talent and well-being of the people who live in our country. Next Monday, for example, we will celebrate 150 years of primary education for free for all kids in the country.”
For the last 27 years, Democrats have been trying to win over evangelical Christians who last voted in large numbers for their party's presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter, in 1976. At the 1992 Democratic National Convention, Al Gore gave it a go, but misquoted Scripture. In his acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination, Gore said, “In the words of the Bible, Do not lose heart. This nation will be renewed.” The verse actually says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Paul is speaking of our earthly bodies and the hope that awaits those who believe in Jesus, not the Democratic Party.
The flood tide of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border cannot and must not continue. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said of it, “The system is broken and overwhelmed. It is a national emergency.” The definition of emergency might help focus attention: “A sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.”
What Sean Davis, co-founder of the web magazine The Federalist, wrote in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal sums up the disgust many Americans are feeling about the way big media handled the Russia collusion story: “It wasn't merely an error here or there. America's blue-chip journalists botched the entire story, from its birth during the presidential campaign to its final breath Sunday — and they never stopped congratulating themselves for it.”
The saga that is the Mueller Report is a consequence of what happens when you begin with a conclusion and then desperately seek evidence you hope will confirm it. The conclusion: Donald Trump was illegitimately elected and that he and/or his campaign conspired with the Russians to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy. A summary of the report delivered to Congress Sunday by Attorney General William Bar says Special Counsel Robert Mueller “found no evidence President Donald Trump's campaign ‘conspired or coordinated’ with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.”