Thursday December 12, 2013
Archive - Jun 6, 2013
Nearly four months into a hunger strike that has now spread to some two-thirds of the detainees at the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the question in this headline can no longer be avoided.
Is President Obama poised to "pack" the federal appeals court in Washington?
"A type of court-packing reminiscent of FDR's era," warned Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. "Packing the court because it has issued rulings against the administration is a cynical approach to the judicial branch."
If a twig falls in the forest, does it make a sound? In the case of Republican Congresswoman and tea party champion Michele Bachmann, the answer is as loud as possible. Her decision not to seek a fifth term in her House seat from Minnesota was newsworthy only in the sense that she had sold herself for so long as indomitable in her pursuit of political notoriety.
Say it ain't so. There has never been a sadder day in American politics.
Political reporters are still in shock over Michele Bachmann's sudden announcement that she will not seek re-election to Congress. How dare she just up and walk away? What are we going to do now for laughs? It's not fair. Our primary source to prove the absurdity of politics in general, and the fecklessness of today's Republican Party in particular, has suddenly disappeared. At least for now.
Like many observers, I usually read reports about political goings-on with a sort of weary cynicism. Every once in a while, however, politicians do something so wrong, substantively and morally, that cynicism just won't cut it; it's time to get really angry instead. So it is with the ugly, destructive war against food stamps.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrote this week that the First Amendment shields Comcast Corp. from Congress's authority to ensure the free flow of information across the basic network connections it provides.
Maybe Bob Dole has more clout in the Republican Party than we think. He suggested on Sunday that the party put up a "closed for repairs" sign for the rest of the year. Then along comes Michele Bachmann declaring on Wednesday that she won't seek re-election.
The practice of marrying young girls to older men persists in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. It is a concern. But need it be America's concern and, more to the point, America's business to stop?
The answer is yes, according to a new Council on Foreign Relations report. Ending child marriage, author Rachel B. Vogelstein states, "is a strategic imperative that will further critical U.S. foreign policy interests."
Could a president order drone strikes against journalists? I'm not worried. No, really. Not much.
But the broad sweep of our government's counterterrorism policy on targeted killings by unmanned drones, coupled with the Justice Department's new aggressiveness against media leaks, makes me wonder whether we journos should watch our step.