The President of the United States of America announced a peace deal with Iran. It's been so long that American leadership in the world sought peace through diplomacy I forgot we had it in our foreign policy tool box. The last time that occurred to me was on a Spring Break trip to Arkansas, which, granted, is also not an idea that occurs to many people.
The president was talking to America's enemy, extending his hand in the interests of peace, and the war hawks were going nuts. One conservative leader assailed "a weakened president, weakened in spirit as well as in clout." Another conservative leader denounced the president as "a useful idiot for (enemy) propaganda." A top conservative columnist lamented the president's "moral disarmament."
When we were teenagers, my "the South's gonna do it again" younger brother bought into some weird conspiracy theory that Gen. Robert E. Lee didn't really surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Lee supposedly thought he was merely handing his sword over to someone for cleaning. (The deniers who concocted the theory apparently also believed that Europeans never really landed in the New World but just filmed it out in the desert somewhere.)
For decades Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to impose new energy taxes. They do not, to put it mildly, have the support of the American people. So they have turned to increasingly complex schemes to pretend the taxes they are advancing are not taxes. They've now reached an unprecedented level of obfuscation: a federal regulatory agency acting without Congress to coerce states into imposing regulations that will bury cost increases in the electricity rate base - and they might get away with it. Congress should therefore act immediately to, if they can't stop what is happening, at least ...
A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between $17 and $40 billion to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the U.S. government.
"America and the West have a historic opportunity to negotiate a nuclear agreement that will promote peace in the Middle East and the world. It will give your country, Iran, a brighter future. What do you say to that?"
Winter is over! Winter is over! Excuse the jubilation, but we ink-stained wretches love the ritual excitement that occurs every spring. This spring is extra exciting, because it comes with our big quadrennial first sighting of a red nose popping out of the presidential wannabe clown car.
The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public - but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board.
On Friday, the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee U.S. involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act - limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.
Operation Jade Helm has inspired a million jokes, and some of them have even been funny. But as much as comedians might jump on Greg Abbott for sending the Texas State Guard to monitor military exercises as the latest excuse to mock the reactionary rubes south of the Red River, Texas now faces an existential crisis: Is the Governor really this crazy?
As it appears we're smack dab in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign announcement season, this might be the perfect time to ask the question on every American's lips: what kind of twisted psychopath chooses to do this? Who are these people that are so all fired up to enter this soul-sucking fray just to sit in an Office that is oval? Masochists? Sadists? Sadomasochists? Masosadochists? Folks who didn't pay attention during any previous election?
Tuesday night I went through a crash course in what really matters, in humanity, in mortality. I was watching the news reports about the Amtrak derailment, and amid my secondhand anguish for injured strangers I thanked God, literally thanked him out loud, for the fact that my immigration hearing in Baltimore had been canceled. Had it not been, I might have been sitting in one of those mangled cars.
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.