Forget the political "blame game." The biggest game in town now is the credibility game -- a high-stakes exercise that will end with America's political middle deciding who is trustworthy and who isn't. Some key players:
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
At some point, we need to stop believing in miracles, at least in education. While we're still getting over the RICO indictments handed down in the Atlanta cheating scandal comes the revelation that the success Michelle Rhee achieved as the "no excuses" superintendent of Washington, D.C.'s public schools was the product of massive cheating. Those asking why Rhee isn't under indictment just like her former colleague in Atlanta are missing the bigger question: If she's an example of its success, is the theory behind market-driven education reform valid?
Up until about an hour ago, most Americans thought Benghazi was the guy who palled around with John Cassavetes back in the '60s, but now it's obvious we're talking about the foreign policy arm of a multi-ramped tar pit the president has found himself swimming -- up to his armpits. Yes, friends, it's pity time at the White House.
Bill Clinton, wearing a white toga and a crown of gold, sat in a garden while attractive women fed him grapes. President Obama, having just suffered the most devastating week of his presidency, sat nearby, seeking advice in the art of telling whoppers. Using the Socratic method of teaching, Clinton began to tutor his new student.
Tying up a few loose ends on stories that didn't make the front page:
"It will create a bureaucracy with the efficiency of the Post Office, the frugality of the Pentagon and the compassion of the IRS."– Mantra of those who opposed HillaryCare in the 1990s.
"We have a large government," political consultant David Axelrod offered as a plea of ignorance to all of the scandals swirling around his boss. "Part of being president is there's so much beneath you that you can't know because the government is so vast." And yet, thanks to Axelrod and Obama, we now stand on the precipice of the largest expansion of government power in almost half a century: Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Car e Act (PPACA).
Remember the 1996 movie, "A Time to Kill"?
Students, faculty, family members and friends, it is my great honor to deliver your commencement speech today.
For three more weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will debate the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744. During the 45 years I've studied Washington politics, including 25 years of editorializing on the dreary subject, I can say without hesitation that no more anti-American legislation has ever been introduced.
You might say that May 10, 2013 was when the "second term curse" officially struck President Barack Obama -- and that May 13 was when it flattened him. Obama's administration has been hit with a triple whammy blast from a massive political stun gun.
Not even Barack Obama can defy the laws of physics.
You do realize that Washington, D.C. is not the real world, don't you? It's a state of mind. An altered state of mind. Where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Slammed when you stand and rammed when you run. Berated if you lie and lambasted for the truth. Where even the slightest of breeze can carry the pollen of disaster. And the pack on top knows the best way to avoid getting a face full of disaster pollen is to spread the dried residue of other exquisite catastrophes first. Ream or ...
What America needs is a good Productivity Boosting Nap Pod, a device that looks like a dentist chair with a roof. As luck would have it, this 310-pound unit, that "provides optimal ergonomics for napping," is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $16,000. Dagwood Bumstead take note.
Sure, we humans like to think of a new year as a blank slate; but deep down we know that history repeats itself. We know that along with the unexpected revelations and unpredictable fads, 2015 will bring us more NFL rap sheets, Facebook privacy settings reconfigurations, fracking debates, "stand somebody else's ground" military actions, sighs over a "do nothing" Congress, major retailer security breaches and warnings of a comet that may or may not strike in 37 years.
We stand at the brink of a new year. Our country will enter it in social, economic, and racial upheaval unlike any other since the late 1960s. These days, who really cares about America?
The snow started coming down hard a few hours after we'd arrived.
I'm writing one of my infrequent serious columns, because I realize there is more to Christmas than non-stop holly jolly mirth.
"You've worked for us for 10 years, Johnson, but I'm not sure how to grade you during this year's performance review."
Let's go deep for a second: What's the point of data?
Elizabeth Warren and plenty of media liberals are in a panic that the Omnibus bill, nicknamed "CRomnibus," is some sort of horrible right-wing Trojan Horse that will grind us all into domination by investment banks.
Happy Tuesday, everybody, and God bless America.
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.