Last week, when Bill Clinton said President Obama should allow people to keep their health-insurance coverage - an early attempt to distance Hillary and himself from ObamaCare - I began to worry that the Clintons may be serious about another run at the White House.
The heck is going on here, people? Did someone drop the flag signaling the start of the 2016 presidential election race in secret? Was there a furtive whispered "go now" left on the voice mail of all the major players in the 202 area code? Thirty-six months before the election? Is it possible to earn extra credit by skipping this one and moving right on to 2020?
Half a century ago, Sid Davis was the first journalist to learn John Kennedy had died. Instead of breaking the biggest news story in the world, he waited because he wanted to make sure he was right. It is hard to image a journalist making the same choice nowadays amid our modern cacophony of inaccurate reporting, but perhaps Davis has something to teach us.
In 1971 when Granny Tyree passed away, her belongings included a scrapbook of World War II editorial cartoons, a freezer container labeled (yum!) "strawberries" (but containing turnips!) and a little book in which she had jotted down her own poems and grandchildren's witticisms.
The federal Healthcare.gov website, serving 36 states that chose not to build their own sites, has been - to quote its boss, Kathleen Sebelius - a "debacle." Its estimated cost to taxpayers stands at $394 million so far and will likely rise as the "tech surge" pours millions of additional taxpayer dollars into trying to fix the site. But federal taxpayers are on the hook for a sum more than 10 times greater - $4.3 billion - for state exchange websites. And some of them are even more spectacular failures than the federal site.
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.