Got to forgive presidential and congressional staffers for covering their ears and singing "la la la" at the top of their lungs, as everyone pretends not to be knee-deep in the icky, tricky, sticky Syria situation. You might say Washington is in a Semi-Syrious mode right now. And a Semi-Not-So-Syrious mode. Simultaneously.
OKLAHOMA CITY – God bless America, and how's everybody?
John Kerry put on quite a war dance in the Senate on Tuesday.
Syria has taken over the top of the agenda, but very soon Congress will necessarily return to high stakes fiscal negotiations, not just over the continuing resolution to fund the government, but also over the federal debt ceiling. Speaker John Boehner is committed to the principle that has so effectively constrained discretionary spending since the historic summer 2011 deal: debt ceiling increases must be matched dollar-for-dollar with new spending cuts. At the top of the spending cut priority list should be elimination of the most widely hated aspect of the new health care law: the individual mandate.
The new requirements for No Child Left Behind waivers from the Department of Education have some bad news for America's teachers. The Obama administration wants states to use standardized tests to not only judge students and schools but now teachers as well lest we lose ground to China. Coincidentally, China this week banned standardized testing in early grades and reduced it thereafter. China, it seems, wants to be more like us.
Have we just witnessed a political slam-dunk reflecting 21st century political realities? Did Newark Mayor Cory Booker just manage to ingratiate himself with one group of voters while provoking his opponent into negatively defining himself and his political party in the campaign to fill New Jersey's Senate seat?
Ever since the first blog was posted in 1998, chronicling the aftermath of a hurricane, a lot of us have wondered if the surge of people writing about their children, their hobbies and the ups and downs of life was a good idea or a sign of the end of our communities.
During my last visit to New York City, I stumbled into an unexpected discussion about its restrictive gun polices.
HOLLYWOOD --God bless America, and how's everybody?
As Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama campaigns for another war, we should be asking whether or not the U.S. should engage Syria.
Hey, it was Labor Day, everybody. Woo-hoo. Okay, we're partying now. Throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don't care. Blow up some balloons. Tap a keg. Rip open a bag of chips. Because this isn't a champagne and caviar kind of thing. This is the very definition of blue collar. If collars be worn at all.
I don't know who's more confused about Syria, President Obama or me.
Since his election, Pope Francis has warned repeatedly of the challenges and dangers posed by a "savage capitalism" that "has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people." He has rightly criticized a "dictatorship of the economy" and a "cult of money" that consistently subordinates concern for human beings to questions of efficiency and profit. He has also held up an alternative rubric, noting that "concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ...
Over the summer I've perused three or four books about bucket lists (those collections of tasks, large and small, that one dreams of completing before "kicking the bucket") and my reading dovetails nicely with the perceived state of the nation.
More than 50 years ago, Cesar Chavez co-founded the United Farm Workers with Dolores Huerta. Today, the UFW and Huerta remain active in their ongoing effort to win citizenship for illegal immigrants. At a recent Bakersfield rally, UFW president Arturo Rodriguez and Huerta joined others outside U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy's office to demand immigration reform. But if Chavez, who died in 1994, were still alive he may not have been part of the demonstration.
How much would you borrow to buy something that you would never use and might kill you and everyone around you? If we're talking about Uncle Sam's outdated and useless nuclear arsenal, the price tag is $1.1 trillion. A better-and cheaper-idea might be doing what Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and a host of others wanted to do in the first place: Get rid of nuclear weapons.
Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either "serving" in the military or performing some other type of government-directed "community service." Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich's proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.
Arrogance doesn't sit well with most Americans for very long.
"Politicize" is a jab meaning the other side is trying to capitalize on a news topic. "The Republicans have tried to politicize the border crisis," says Nancy Pelosi. Reince Priebus says Democrats are trying to politicize Benghazi. Jay Carney says Republicans are trying to politicize Benghazi. Steny Hoyer says Republicans are trying to politicize the VA scandal. Rush Limbaugh says Democrats politicize EVERYTHING.
Add Ebola to our long and growing list of federal screw-ups.
In what has been a season of jaw-dropping news, the largest bombshell seems like it was ripped from the pages of Mad Magazine.
A garment that has elicited a lot of wolf whistles is turning 75 years old.
More secret money is being pumped into politics than ever before. For that ignominious milestone, we can thank Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his four Republican-appointed pals.
I'm starting to feel bad for President Obama, if you want to know the truth.
Race is one of those subjects that never seems to simmer down.
As America waits, ever patiently, for the economic recovery to trickle down to the rest of us, at least we won't have to worry about Kevin Cramer. This former radio host has figured out a way to get a piece of the pie not just for himself but for many of his relatives as well. Unfortunately, he's cashing in because he's a congressman, so his method probably won't work for us poor slobs who have to work for a living.
Hey everybody. The Midterms Are Coming! Or rather: the midterms are coming. To be most precise; themidtermsarecoming. Because the general response of the vast majority of Americans who aren't stifling yawns is "yeah, whatever. Isn't there a baseball game on?"
Trust. Even in the final two years of a President's term, there should be enough trust that the President is trying to make decisions based on the needs of the country.
According to Forbes magazine, at least 5,000 Americans contacted healthcare providers fearful they had contracted Ebola after the media reported that someone with Ebola had entered the United States. All 5,000 cases turned out to be false alarms. In fact, despite all the hype about Ebola generated by the media and government officials, as of this writing there has only been one preliminarily identified case of someone contracting Ebola within the United States.
The head of the FBI says a terrorist attack may be coming.