Saturday December 07, 2013
Archive - Jun 2013
How would you like to be an Israeli strategist today? Now even Turkey is in turmoil as its people push back on their increasingly autocratic leader. I mean, there goes the neighborhood. The good news for Israel is that in the near term its near neighbors are too internally consumed to think about threatening it. In the long run, though, Israel faces two serious challenges that I'd dub the Stephen Hawking Story and the Joseph Story.
The sky isn't falling. The train is not wrecking. The end is not nigh. And to drag this out a bit, the tidings are not all bad.
The Social Security and Medicare trustees have spoken in their latest annual report: Social Security's not-too-serious condition remains unchanged from last year. But the outlook for Medicare, the more shaky program, has brightened modestly.
Last seen predicting a "landslide" win for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, political "analyst" Dick Morris has resurfaced as a radio pitchman for the paperback "ObamaCare Survival Guide" (only $4.95 plus shipping and handling). His spiel dwells on the health law's "hidden taxes," including "a 40 percent tax on some health plans."
I’ll bet that Mark Twain, who wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” would’ve loved a current saga. I call it “The Jumping Congress Critter of Frog Jump.”
The critter’s name is Representative Stephen Fincher. He’s a millionaire, agribusiness operator, gospel singer, and tea party Republican who was elected to Congress in 2010 from the greater metropolitan area of Frog Jump, Tennessee.
We all know when a popular revolt succeeds. Someone gets overthrown. At what point, however, does a historic, full-scale rebellion take wing? Always hard to tell.
The revolt we discuss here involves bad policy and public schools. A climactic victory has yet to come. But let me fancy this notion:
What now simmes across the countryside took wing a few years ago when a certain overstressed Texas third grader of whom I know threw up on her state test.
You wanted Father Andrew Greeley as your friend and not your enemy. You got the sense he was born with his fists up and his loyalties fully formed. He was ready to do battle at the first signs of disrespect toward those he cared about.
Understanding Greeley, the priest, sociologist and novelist who died last week at 85, is essential to understanding the last half-century of American Catholic history and the glorious contradictions of politics.
The good news is, we're talking about it. The bad news is, we're talking about it. Again.
The high-profile cases of sexual assault in the military just keep on coming. And along with them comes the stunningly retro way in which they are handled.
Our latest example comes from the U.S. Naval Academy, which confirmed last Friday that they are investigating three academy football players for the sexual assault of one of their fellow classmates.
Imperialism doesn't pay. Of course, it never did for the common folk recruited to invade another country, or the natives they conquered. But still, the thought persists that occupying foreign lands -- particularly as in the case of Iraq, soaked in oil as well as blood -- is a winner.