Why Ghostbusters Was a Bust

The Hollywood Reporter revealed this week that Sony is looking at a $70 million loss for Ghostbusters, their reboot of the 1984 horror-comedy classic. The reboot has been steeped in controversy ever since it was announced. To many fans, the choice to go with an all-female cast came across as a gimmick with little to justify it. After the backlash to the movie’s first trailer, Sony and its media allies decided to turn Ghostbusters into a political event film, claiming that its all-female cast was empowering to women. Basically, those who did not support the movie were misogynists. 

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The Difficult Road Ahead

Even the mighty Roman Empire fell. The people became complacent. They enjoyed their comfort. They assumed they would stay on top forever. Many times have I heard comparisons between ancient Rome and 21st Century America. Many times have I pondered where our nation is in its life cycle. By all appearances, we are on the downward slope. 

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DiCaprio's Oscar and Life's Purpose

This past Sunday history occurred: Leonardo DiCaprio—Titanic heart throb of the late ‘90’s and critically acclaimed actor—won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Leo had previously been nominated four other times, but had yet to win. With The Revenant, he was practically begging the Academy to give him the Oscar. I mean, all the interviews he and his co-stars gave were about how hard it was for him to film the movie. The movie was filmed on location, in winter, and it was really cold, you know?

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Lent 2016

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday -- the day that many Christians get strange looks for walking around with smudges of dirt on their foreheads. Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of the season of Lent. For most of my life I knew very little about Lent. Truthfully, I still don’t know much about it. Here’s what I do know:

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Rand Paul’s Presidential Campaign: In Memoriam

Last week Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced he was ending his campaign for the GOP nomination. Paul’s exit from the race was unsurprising as his campaign never really gained traction. Truthfully, his prospects of winning the GOP nomination probably died long before he announced his candidacy because of the rise of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Even though Paul’s campaign was DOA, I am thankful for the more libertarian voice he brought to the GOP primary.

Paul rose to prominence in the GOP for two reasons. First, he represented the libertarian wing of the GOP once led by his father, Ron Paul. Second, he was one of the staunchest defenders of federalism and for reducing the size of the federal government. Libertarianism (especially on foreign policy) and reducing the size and scope of the federal government were big priorities in the immediate wake of the Bush years. Many GOP voters had become unhappy with foreign endeavors like the Iraq War and the TARP bailouts. Paul perfectly suited what these GOP voters wanted.  

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Five Things We Learned Last Night

1. Trump’s support was not as strong as we believed. Sure, he came in second. And he’s still in a good position to take the nomination. But tonight we learned that it is going to be a close race. Cruz took the night with 28%, Trump followed with 24% and Rubio came in a close third at 23%. It is remarkable that Trump came so close to falling to third place. Marco Rubio now has a real chance to overtake Trump. If the nomination comes down to Cruz against Rubio, it will be a win-win for the GOP.

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Thoughts on Iowa

Tonight, the first real battle in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination will be waged in Iowa. Iowans will brave the cold to spend close to an hour participating in the official first-in-the-nation contest. For the first time we will see whether Donald Trump’s campaign is truly “real.”

I’ll be upfront: I am part of the “anti-Trump” camp. I don’t think the man is conservative and I certainly don’t believe he has the temperament or the character we want in a President and Commander-in-Chief. But, there is no doubt that he has turned the 2016 GOP presidential campaign on its head.

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Natural Born Citizens

A big controversy erupted last week surrounding Senator Ted Cruz’ eligibility to be President of the United States. The controversy began when Donald Trump—the current frontrunner for the GOP nomination—indicated that Cruz’ birth in Canada (to a U.S. citizen mother) casts doubt that he is a “natural born citizen” as the Constitution requires. Donald Trump’s attack on Ted Cruz’ eligibility is no doubt related to Cruz’ rise in the polls, especially in Iowa where Cruz has been leading.

Now, I don’t really want to rehash the argument over whether Cruz is eligible to be President. I happen to think he is. Yes, he was born in Canada and yes his father was not a U.S. citizen at that time. But, his mother was a U.S. citizen and according to U.S. law in 1970 he was a U.S. citizen at birth. Even if someone wants to claim that a law passed by Congress can never define what a “natural born citizen” is, I think this Harvard Law Review analysis persuasively argues that, yes, Cruz is a “natural born citizen.”

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Let's Make America Great Again

Donald Trump continues to lead the pack of GOP presidential hopefuls. To many Americans, he represents the voice of the conservative electorate who say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" President Obama and an irresponsible Congress have led this country to the brink. The Supreme Court has become a Progressive rubber stamp, upholding Obamacare twice and forcing gay "marriage" on the states. We need a president--so the thinking goes--who is tough as nails and won't back down. We need someone who is going to Make America Great Again. 

Unfortunately, Donald J. Trump is not the right guy for the job. Neither is Jeb Bush . . . 

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Federalism, You're Already Dead

Federalism—that is what the debate is about. It’s not about gun control, abortion regulations or the minimum wage. It’s about what kind of government we want to have. Do we want one more like those in Europe, where strong central governments predominate and laws can be passed with a simple majority? Or do we want a government like the one our founding fathers gave us? 

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Merry Christmas (still)

Yes, I know it is January, but that doesn’t mean Christmas is over. By now you’re no doubt tired of all those carols and bells, but believe it or not, it is still Christmastime. You see, while everyone else started watching Home Alone and baking cookies as soon as Thanksgiving came to a close, I began to wait.

As a kid I loved the buildup to Christmas—weeks and weeks of music, decorations, and desserts. Eventually the big day would arrive; we would unwrap our gifts, play with our toys and eat more cookies. Then, suddenly it’s December 26. Take down the tree, put away the lights and stop singing those carols—Christmas is over. It always seemed so incomplete. It turns out it was incomplete.

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