Why Making College Free
Won’t Lead To More Degrees

By Jim Berlin

The biggest net cast by Hillary Clinton into the school of young Millennials (18 to 34) is the cynical promise of a free college education.

“Just open your little birdie mouths,” the fable goes, “and Auntie Hillary and Uncle Sugar will stuff your beaks with all the college cash you need. It’s your right because – well, hell – because you exist.”

The little birdies’ payback after consuming and digesting all this free education? Just poop out a vote for Hillary and the Democrats. Free cash – poop a vote. Free college – poop a vote. What could be easier?

Here’s the hole in Hillary’s net: Contrary to her assertion, no one has ever been denied higher education “simply because they couldn’t afford it.” If someone really wants to go to college, they by God find a way to go.

It’s a form of natural selection: The strong and committed thrive and survive; the weak and uncommitted fall by the wayside.

But let’s just say, because it’s free, almost everyone goes on to college. Again, natural selection has the final word…

Auntie Hillary and the Democrats

diploma-cash-reduced-300x200

will not attend their classes so they can sleep in. They will not take over the required reading, the homework, the essays, the cramming for finals. No matter how it’s financed, a college degree will always require wanting the degree – and wanting it badly. The kids who are on campus only because it’s free will not stay the course. They will squander the gift.

Mind you, I’m not saying a college degree is proof of superior intellect or a reflection of human value. It’s just that certain careers demand a degree simply to get in the door. After that – like everything in life – success or failure is strictly up to us.

Aunt Hillary and Uncle Sugar don’t have a damn thing to say about it.

Our Presidential Candidates
Are a Breath of Stale Air

 By Jim Berlin

After a lifetime of inhaling the toxic fumes of U.S. politics, Donald Trump seemed an amazing breath of fresh air.

A financially-independent straight-shootin’ sonofagun, beholden to no one and nothing but the American dream. A leader who could restore our reputation after a president who is a stranger in our midst…a man who speaks more reverently of Islam than Christianity.

I wanted to believe in Trump – I still do – but he is a broken faucet emitting drip-after-drip of ignorance and asininity. If what we see is what we’d get, Donald would not simply be in over his head as president. He would be a bottom-feeder, sucking up mud and muck and spewing the concoction on the world stage.

And then there’s Ted Cruz. Suitably conservative, smart as hell and always on message.

Except…he rarely speaks as a normal human being. Almost every utterance is delivered as if he sees an angel at his side, busily chiseling his words into stone for the ages to revere.

Bringing up the Republican rear is John Kasich, a gent who never tires of telling us, and telling us, and telling us…how he turned Ohio into heaven on Earth.

On the flip side of the coin are the stirring images of Hillary and Bernie Sanders. A woman who lied to the grieving family faces of the heroes killed in Benghazi (“It was the video”)…and an old socialist who is an ideological inch from being a Communist.

A lifetime of inhaling the toxic fumes of U.S. politics, and once again I’m forced to ask: Where have all the leaders gone?

Gone to graveyards – every one.

National Nightmare Isn’t Over,
But We’re Stirring In Our Sleep

 By Jim Berlin 

Before Tuesday’s election Democratic candidates ran as fast and far as they could from Barack Obama, but the president and his policies raced ahead and lay in wait in voting booths across the country.

There was simply no escaping the man.

All Democrats asked was for Mr. Obama to remain quiet and invisible leading up to November 4th, but his ego was having none of it. Convinced somehow and by someone that his popularity was untarnished, the president announced it was his policies that would be on every ballot.

Not the candidates themselves – not their message – but his policies.

He was sure victory was coming and he wanted to claim it. He would show all those misguided and mistaken Democrats who shunned his help how very wrong they were. He would show them he was still The Man.

He was right. His policies were on the ballot. And a clear majority of Americans – still convinced this is God’s country – announced they will no longer put up with a president who believes quite the opposite.

GOP victories in the House and Senate don’t mean the long national nightmare is over.

But the country is stirring in its sleep – and the White House is no longer controlling the dream.

Mr. Obama will have to work now with Congress – with America – if he is to leave any legacy worth leaving at all.

We’ll see if his ego can handle that.

 

O’Reilly Interview of Obama
Reminds Me of a Truman Story

 By Jim Berlin 

When it comes to politicians my hope does not spring eternal. When Bill O’Reilly did his pre-Super Bowl interview with President Obama, it did not spring past the first 60 seconds.

Obama, nattily dressed in a tailored Teflon coat, easily danced and slip-slided through questions on Benghazi, IRS harassment of conservative groups and why the ever-earnest-yet-always-confused face of Kathleen Sebelius still leads the government assault on health care.

All we learned for sure from the interview is the chief executive believes that – if not for Fox News and people like O’Reilly – hardly anyone would be saying bad things about him. Unfortunately, he’s right.

But Teflon coats are nothing new in the White House closet. In fact, we have to go all the way back to Harry Truman in 1950 to find an instance of a president speaking truth straight from the gut…

After severely criticizing the professional singing voice of Truman’s daughter, Margaret, Washington Post music critic Paul Hume received a letter from Harry: If we ever meet, Truman promised, “you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for your black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

 But here’s the really telling part of that story: Truman showed the letter to his aides before sending it, and to a man they warned him it would be a PR disaster. “You don’t know human nature,” he said.

When the music critic published the letter (fully expecting an avalanche of public sympathy), 80 percent of Americans stood up and cheered for Harry. Threatening to kick a guy’s ass for messing with your kid? That was just fine with The Greatest Generation.

But that was a different time, a different president. Before Teflon. When hope sprang eternal.