Happy Friday, everybody, and God Bless America.
Did you ever have a week in which you had an impossible amount of work to complete, yet somehow got it done?
Happy Thursday, everybody, and God Bless America.
America's attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. While all the facts surrounding the shooing have yet to come to light, the shock of seeing police using tear gas (a substance banned in warfare), and other military-style weapons against American citizens including journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, has started a much-needed debate on police militarization.
Shortly after he angrily denounced the obscene beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by a member of the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a smiling President Barack Obama was photographed playing golf. And so it started -- just like clockwork.
While the dominant Republican slogan on health care remains "repeal and replace," there is little agreement on what "replace" means. But if we wait until Obamacare can be repealed before developing a consensus on positive health care changes, major parts of Obamacare will be even more entrenched and its seductive goal of universal coverage may push us instead toward fully government-controlled single-payer system.
Knew he shouldn't. Couldn't help himself. I'm talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry's mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus' GPS for another store.
Once again Israel is being forced to defend itself from the terrorists who run Gaza.
The initial outburst of rage, simmering for years in a brick and pavement community draped in poverty was genuine, and for many today is still genuine. It didn't and will never matter to many in Ferguson what Michael Brown did or did not do. What remains is a white man of authority gunned him down in the street and "the man" left his corpse in the open to rot for hours as men, women and children ogled, stared and raged from a distance.
So it turns out, thanks to a leak from the St. Louis County medical examiner's office, that the unarmed teen who was shot by a cop six times in Ferguson, Mo., including twice in the head, had marijuana in his bloodstream. And, naturally, the character assassins are essentially saying, "Ya see? He was a druggie, a violent thug."
The Saturday before last, Michael Brown swiped several cigars from a convenience store counter, passing much of his spoils to friend Dorian Johnson.
Just as World War I didn't prove to be "the war to end all wars," the 20th century didn't turn out to be when the nearly unimaginable brutality and indescribable evil represented by German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime was definitively laid to rest.
It was just a matter of time for the program to be abused.
The meeting probably wasn't as awkward as Cain attending Abel's funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband's family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt-drunk at a wedding reception feel.
We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
Everything you need to know about Bruce Braley was made clear by the candidate himself in a thirty-seven second video of him speaking to his real constituents - his fellow trial lawyers - at a fundraiser in Texas.
Let's take a break from our Ebola freakout and debate something a bit more benign - like word usage. For instance, why do we keep using czar?
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.