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.
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.
IRS apologists are furiously trying to change the subject from the outrageous targeting of political opponents by the IRS to a policy debate over forced disclosure of contributions to groups that engage in political speech. The story is that a deluge of applications forced the IRS to cut corners and the targeting scandal was an accidental result of mismanaging that flood. From there the apologists pivot to demanding a new crackdown on political speech, forced disclosure of donors, or both. But the story is a fairy tale and the "solutions" are unconstitutional.
As part of the brash rash of wire-brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama presidency, a large heavy-duty cast-iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea Party-affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort of perverse sense.
The growing scandals enveloping the Obama administration are becoming a series of shiny baubles being dangled before the right and the left alike. The right wants to impeach Obama, while the left, of course, wants to blindly defend him. Meanwhile, the American people are being sold a bill of goods that this is a partisan fight and that partisanship is a danger to the Republic. The truth is, the real danger lies in so-called bipartisanship.
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:
Rick Perry's running for president again, which means we have to endure a bunch of talk about what he calls the "Texas Model." The rest of us call this the "Texas Miracle," or the economic special sauce of low taxes, low regulation, low spending, and tort reform that he says created boom times in Texas while the rest of the country struggled. Hire me, goes his logic, and I'll make sure someone hires you. Being president is good work if you can get it.
He gets under their skin like termites in a boathouse. Drives them crazier than Hillary Clinton and Yoko Ono dancing on a gay pride parade float. He's the itch you can't scratch. The thorn in the palm of their paw. The 3-inch scratch on their favorite Ted Nugent album. I'm talking about that hot new Catholic sensation, Pope Frankie.
Few papal encyclicals have been as anticipated as Laudato Si', and Pope Francis has not disappointed. The encyclical articulates a compelling moral vision intended to address the ecological crisis gripping our world.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open in a thrilling manner at Chambers Bay Golf Club. Afterwards he wished everyone a Happy Father's Day, which came off as a bit insensitive to people in Los Angeles. Father's Day is the most confusing day of the year for Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Our image of an ideal father has been shaped in part by father figures at the national level-starting with George Washington as the Father of our Country. His strong leadership shepherded us through a war with weak, tepid support from half the country-a collection of colonies which desperately needed to be glued together. He was the glue.