HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Here's a little game I invented the other day after phoning the water company to complain about my bill and hearing an overly-chipper woman say, "Hi, Peter. How may I help you?"
My son Gideon (age nine) assures me that he will be a good father someday, but will that be an empty accomplishment? In another 20 years or so will there even be a Father's Day?
Quick: someone call a chiropractor for California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. He's overreached so far his arm may separate from his shoulder. Even some key figures in his party are suggesting he needs an adjustment. F-a-s-t.
HOLLYWOOD--God bless America, and how's everybody?
Washington, D.C., is in the grip of scandals, the economy is stumbling and a host of other challenges are weighing me down - which is why I prefer to dwell on more obscure subjects, such as a battle raging behind the scenes over the 2020 Olympics.
Since the Obama administration has confessed to spying on journalists at the Associated Press and Fox News, have you noticed there are more stories about the Obama scandals in the news?
As amateur news hounds gain power and influence through social media, the definition of "journalist" has ripened for philosophical debate. But now it's becoming a legal issue – one that could hamper efforts to protect the news profession at the very time federal lawmakers are awakening to the need to do so.
Scandal after Obama scandal.
A stitch in time saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can lead a horse to water, but if an outdated bridge collapses on it, the meat will wind up marketed by IKEA.
Imagine you are a 19-year-old Marine. You are riding in a Humvee with four other Marines - your friends - when an improvised explosive device (IED) explodes.
There's good news and bad news in the twin terrorist outrages of the horrific running over and hacking to death of a British soldier and the Boston Marathon bombings. The good: intelligence agencies had some of these young terrorists on their radar. The bad news: having them on the radar did little good since the murderers still successfully completed their planned butchery.
When it rains, it pours.
MONTEREY, Calif.- They don't ask, "Paper or plastic?" around here anymore. Single-use plastic bags are banned, and stores offering paper are required to charge the stiff price of 25 cents per bag.
A poll released this week found 51 percent of Americans approve of the harsh interrogation tactics the CIA used immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
One of the most perverse consequences of the feverish backroom deals used to get Obamacare past the finish line was the funding formula for the law's Medicaid expansion, which started with the infamous Cornhusker Kickback, a sweetheart deal for Nebraska alone to get 100 percent federal funding for Medicaid expansion that was used to get then-Senator Ben Nelson's vote.
Can Elizabeth Warren, the progressive senator from Massachusetts, wrest the Democratic presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton? Moreover, could she somehow leap an even higher hurdle and succeed Barack Obama?
The 2016 presidential campaign has barely started, and I'm already bored.
If you believe the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee torture report, you might be tempted to conclude that the CIA lied to the press and the public and to Congress about the extent and effectiveness of its torture campaign. And that conclusion would be correct, sir.
Would police have harassed Eric Garner or his wife if the government had no financial interest in the selling of taxed cigarettes?
Oil, like political punditry, is a commodity, traded freely on the open market and subject to the laws of supply and demand. The difference of course is that punditry enjoys an abundant and renewable supply, flows freely, and produces nothing of value. Oil, on the other hand, is actually important. The problem is that people think they are related.
The political class breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when the US Senate averted a government shutdown by passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. This year's omnibus resembles omnibuses of Christmas past in that it was drafted in secret, was full of special interest deals and disguised spending increases, and was voted on before most members could read it.
Torture is illegal. Period. End of debate. There is no legal, moral or probable justification for torture. It's against the Bill of Rights; it's against the Geneva Convention; it's against United Nations Convention Against Torture (ratified by the U.S. in 1994); it's against every state statute from every modern constitutional democracy and every decent and encouraging proposal coming from humanity in the last century.
Well over two years ago, a local public figure encouraged folks to give blood because it was the selfless thing to do.
Remember Kelly Thomas?
They say there's been a recovery, but most of us haven't seen it. Our economy is creating more jobs, but they don't match the wages, benefits and working conditions of the ones we've lost. The stock market is at a historic high, but its gains seem eerily divorced from how the economy is actually performing. Unfortunately, it looks like just another speculative bubble.
Recent reports have circulated that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not treated Kansas well. Some point to the rise in premiums, or the fixed monthly costs you pay for health insurance, and that in Kansas, the rise in these premiums is more compared to the rest of the country. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the political nature of evaluating the success of the ACA, there is disagreement by analysts over the accuracy and the relevance of the numbers.
A diverse group including concerned parents, sports fans and even the Writers Guild of America is fighting the proposed merger of media monoliths Time Warner and Comcast. The effort is spearheaded by the non-profit organization Public Knowledge, which claims the $45 billion merger would harm both the economy and our democracy.