"It's no wonder many Americans are uneasy about the way President Obama is growing our government and eroding our liberties. Aren't most Americans conservative?"
My dictionary defines a "shibboleth" as a "saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning." In response to the latest mass gun murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has trotted out its usual shibboleths.
In August 1925, The New York Times estimated 50,000 – 60,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan marched in a parade in our nation's capital. It was a huge public display of the once-secret group. H.L. Mencken called it "a full mile of Klansmen and their ladies." The man sitting in the White House, Calvin Coolidge, was a member of the Klan. The president before him, Warren Harding, was also a noted Klansman. The fraternity preaching pure "100 percent Americanism" (anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, anti-non-white) boasted of five million members – nearly 15 percent of the population in the ...
What do Al Hunt of Bloomberg News, David Gregory of "Meet the Press" and President Obama have in common -- besides their liberal politics? They all send their kids to Sidwell Friends School.
About a quarter of the kids in the San Antonio school district attend charter schools. Most are the low-income, minority students we think about when we imagine providing innovative opportunities for kids stuck in failing public schools in bad neighborhoods. For a long time, school reform has targeted only kids from poor families. You know, the lucky ones who get those free lunches.
FONTANA, Ca. -- It was April 9, 2005 when I met the young person who impressed me so much I'd talk about him for 7 years. I was moderating a panel discussion of bloggers at Stanford University on "eDemocracy: The Role of blogs and Online Activists in 2004" The young person: 19-year-old Aaron Swartz.
Washington's latest kerfuffle, at a time when political kerfuffling is epidemic, concerns the number of women in President Obama's inner circle. Some say there are too few.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
It sat in my parents' dining room for 30 years or more: an old oak stereo console with large speakers concealed by green fabric. It filled my childhood with a harmony and clarity we could use lots more of about now.
My great-grandmother Jane Purcell had a wonderfully full life. Part of her story is revealed in the 1940 U.S. Census, which the National Archives and Records Administration made available online to the public in 2012 at 1940census.archives.gov .
I was all set not to like "Zero Dark Thirty." I judged director Kathryn Bigelow an enemy of truth and justice for depicting torture as a necessary evil to find Osama bin Laden. When I walked into the screening, I was ready to hate "Zero Dark Thirty" as revisionist conservative propaganda.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Okay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. "Pant. Pant." For a while there, didn't seem like it'd ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line, finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear-view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double-crossing chicanery hasn't mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year's quadrennial heights.
During the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama coined a catchy phrase to describe all the flip-flops in which his opponent had allegedly engaged during the course of his career. On virtually every issue, from health care to abortion, from taxes to so-called pay equity, from welfare to gun control, Obama said the GOP nominee suffered from "Romnesia."
We have junk food, junk mail and junk bonds.
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.