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.
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.
Some members of the legislative and executive branches of Kansas government have publicly expressed their admiration for many "things Texan." For example, they acclaim Governor Rick Perry's conservative leadership and praise Texas' lack of a state income tax. Their high regard for our southerly neighbor may explain why our legislature is considering whether Kansas should switch to Texas' system for selecting Supreme Court justices. Texas procures justices through statewide elections.
I admit it: I love the snow and the cold.
How much should the government fine people whose children are deemed by (some) well-meaning bureaucrats as "obese?"
It was one year ago last weekend that a violent coup overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. That coup was not only supported by U.S. and European governments -- much of it was actually planned by them. Looking back at the events that led to the overthrow it is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its current, seemingly hopeless situation.
My oldest son is handsome, smart, and, in the words of my old boss Ann Richards, very nearly perfect. I love him boundlessly, so it hurts me to know that his homeland has been at war for every single day of his life except for a few months in 2001 when he couldn't yet crawl. Now he's shaving, and for the first time in his life he might get to witness a real discussion about going to war.
I'd advise you to sit down, pour yourself a beer and take a deep breath. You're about to hear something that will change your life. Forever. Are you relaxed?
Are you an unsung hero? Do those you encounter not appreciate the "real" you? Must you always having the last word?
Jeb Bush insists he's not his brother's keeper, but, alas, he's stuck being his brother's baggage schlepper.
Proponents of President Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the Internet insist they oppose content control. They even style themselves defenders of free speech. But there is a very serious risk that changing the Internet from an unregulated free enterprise into a heavily-regulated public utility will lead over time to content control.
Where does the Obama Administration find these people?
For President Obama and the unlawful immigrants he is determined to reward with work permits, social security numbers, and welfare benefits, last week was triumphant. As the congressional February 27 deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security draws closer, insiders learn with each passing day that Obama's executive action is much more expansive than originally presented.
Last week President Obama sent Congress legislation to authorize him to use force against ISIS "and associated persons and forces" anywhere in the world for the next three years. This is a blank check for the president to start as many new wars as he wishes, and it appears Congress will go along with this dangerous and costly scheme.
"Boy, here's something we could use more of today: unity among the American people. Americans are so divided."
What would it look like if politics stopped at the water's edge? It wouldn't look like the mess that John Boehner created by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a session of Congress on March 3. By allowing Netanyahu to stage what is effectively a campaign event in the U.S. Capitol, congressional Republicans have not only damaged our relations with Israel but threatened our diplomatic negotiations with Iran.
There was a time when Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) were respected.