In 2006, I invited the late General Bill Odom to address my Thursday Congressional luncheon group. Gen. Odom, a former NSA director, called the Iraq war "the greatest strategic disaster in American history," and told the surprised audience that he could not understand why Congress had not impeached the president for pushing this disaster on the United States. History continues to prove the General's assessment absolutely correct.
The Wizard of Oz" made Kansas synonymous with tornadoes. But it took the Topeka tornado of June 1966 to bring this Hollywood fiction to reality. That twister was, at the time, said to be the most costly tornado in our country's history.
My condolences go out to the families of the victims at fill-in-the-blank. I know the gun-manufacturing industrial complex has dubbed the wake of a tragedy as an inappropriate time to talk about their product. So lets just eulogize the lives of the people lost to a fill-in-the-blank with his/her/their arsenal of fill-in-the-blank. They were innocent victims who didn't deserve this. We're all shocked.
To this day there's some dispute over who originated the phrase "grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory." What is certain is we're now seeing living examples of the phrase, demonstrated by both the Obama administration and the Republican Party.
The death penalty isn't perfect, but then neither are we. The botched execution last month in Oklahoma has raised legitimate questions about the secret sauce Texas uses on death row, and a lot of Texans still haven't gotten over the state-that is, us-executing Cameron Todd Willingham based on unscientific and discredited folk tales about arson. The Oklahoma incident in particular has caused many to re-examine the death penalty's use in Texas, but the problem isn't the process but the people who carry it out.
You wouldn't know it from all the perpetual doom and gloom in our media and culture, but we have nearly eradicated pollution in the United States. So much so that most Americans are blissfully unaware of how severely polluted the world was for all of human history up to the time of our grandparents.
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.