On September 11, 2001, I wrote a column entitled "Now We Know How Israel Feels." Now, 12 years later, with a community organizer in the White House who has no idea about the proper use of America's military might, who believes our only real ally in the Middle East, Israel, is the cause of all the trouble there, and who opposed pursuing our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm not sure we do.
There is a danger in being as glib as Sen. Ted Cruz, the winner of several national debating awards in college. He has utilized his considerable rhetorical skills to put himself in the 2016 discussion. But by both politicizing and trivializing the question of whether to bomb another country, Cruz has shown that he is unready for serious consideration.
Does "GOP" now stand for the "Grand Old Peace" party? You'd think so if you listen to many Republican conservative talkers, pundits, and nervous politicians holding their fingers up to the wind, then holding up a certain finger to the White House.
The advent of the internet has changed the way the world operates with the same powerful ripple that the printing press caused in 1450 and for the same reason. The average citizen could more easily find out that a lot of other people were thinking the same thing.
Standardized testing can close your public school, hold your kid back a year or now get a teacher fired-all in the name of accountability. But standardized testing's sheen of fairness got tarnished last week, proving that despite all the promises, there is no accountability in accountability.
Got to forgive presidential and congressional staffers for covering their ears and singing "la la la" at the top of their lungs, as everyone pretends not to be knee-deep in the icky, tricky, sticky Syria situation. You might say Washington is in a Semi-Syrious mode right now. And a Semi-Not-So-Syrious mode. Simultaneously.
Syria has taken over the top of the agenda, but very soon Congress will necessarily return to high stakes fiscal negotiations, not just over the continuing resolution to fund the government, but also over the federal debt ceiling. Speaker John Boehner is committed to the principle that has so effectively constrained discretionary spending since the historic summer 2011 deal: debt ceiling increases must be matched dollar-for-dollar with new spending cuts. At the top of the spending cut priority list should be elimination of the most widely hated aspect of the new health care law: the individual mandate.
The new requirements for No Child Left Behind waivers from the Department of Education have some bad news for America's teachers. The Obama administration wants states to use standardized tests to not only judge students and schools but now teachers as well lest we lose ground to China. Coincidentally, China this week banned standardized testing in early grades and reduced it thereafter. China, it seems, wants to be more like us.
Have we just witnessed a political slam-dunk reflecting 21st century political realities? Did Newark Mayor Cory Booker just manage to ingratiate himself with one group of voters while provoking his opponent into negatively defining himself and his political party in the campaign to fill New Jersey's Senate seat?
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.