Saturday December 07, 2013
Archive - May 30, 2013
Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some super-sparkly event, such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up — by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug.
When White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told his colleagues last week to spend no more than 10 percent of their time responding to scandals, he didn't know a tornado would devastate entire stretches of Oklahoma. He knew something like it would happen though. A chief of staff knows that White House plans are always being upset, so he reminds his staff: Don't get too distracted, bigger distractions are always on the horizon.
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when every jackleg news organization in Washington -- that is, virtually all of them -- was feeding out of Kenneth Starr's soft little hand like a Shetland pony.
President Obama should spend his remaining years in office making the United States part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time.
While listening to an NPR report out of Moore, Okla., this week, I was genuinely shocked. Not by the scale of the devastation or the tenacity of people who have grown stoically accustomed to the damage tornados can do, but by a political sentiment that, in almost any other era, would not have been surprising at all.
The world looked upon the tornado-flattened landscape of Moore, Okla., with awe. The destruction was shocking, as were the personal losses. Many Americans in the audience also felt -- and this must be said -- some comfort. Here was a country of strong people rolling with some very serious punches. It still exists.
Everyone wants a piece of the Internal Revenue Service these days, which is why agency officials have been subjected to three congressional hearings over the past week.
So now that the dust has settled, who came out on top? Who didn't?
Below, we look at some of the winners and losers.
One of many good things you can say about President Obama is that he is loyal to his friends. But sometimes, he is loyal to a fault, as is the case with Attorney General Eric Holder. Presidential buddy or not, it's time for Holder to go.
Greater than the risk of being accused of criminality in the three scandals now gripping the Obama administration is the peril that the president's substantive agenda is being hopelessly knocked off track.
With the scent of scandal encircling the White House, some Republicans are already licking their chops over the 2014 midterm elections, while some Democrats are pre-emptively licking their wounds.
Not so fast, folks. Retract those tongues.