Thursday December 19, 2013
Archive - 2013
On Monday, the Supreme Court, ruling on an emergency petition, declined to do the right thing and hear a case challenging the massive government surveillance of Americans, revealed by the leaks from Edward Snowden. For the time being, the court acceded to the Obama administration's argument that it has the legal right to continue its unprecedented bulk collection of American phone records without any restraint. That throws the ball back to Congress, where a historic battle, crossing party lines, is already underway.
Looks like the holidays are going to be, shall we say, a bit awkward for the Cheney family.
Actually, more than a bit. A feud between the former vice president's daughters emerged into public view when Liz Cheney, who is trying to win a Senate seat from Wyoming by pandering to the far-right Republican base, went on "Fox News Sunday" and declared her opposition to gay marriage.
At the time New Jersey established a ban on fracking, it seemed symbolic, much like the moratorium in Vermont, which has no economically recoverable natural gas; the Marcellus Shale, primarily in New York and Pennsylvania, doesn’t extend into New Jersey.
New York has a moratorium on fracking until a health impact statement is completed.
As historians and journalists downgrade the legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death this week, ordinary citizens around the globe will remember a cherished figure.
It's not very often that someone starts his career as a geologist and then winds up as governor, but John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, can make that claim.
"We had fracking when I was a working geologist in 1981," he told me Monday. "It was very primitive. What really changed the world is when we got horizontal drilling. It was a technique that allowed you to recover a lot more natural gas."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is thinking about the Republican presidential nomination. Then again, considering a particular segment of the electorate whose embrace he’ll need to get it, he’d best think twice.
I speak of the Thirders, a hard-right bloc from whom a bloke like Christie is — let’s be honest — irreconcilably different.
If Liz Cheney, whose bid for the Senate has always had a stench of extreme opportunism, wants to discuss traditions and values, I'm all for it. Let's start here: Isn't there a tradition of close-knit family members' taking care not to wound one another? Is there not value in that?
Last week's transformation of San Francisco into Gotham City, all in service of a 5-year-old with leukemia who wanted to play out a superhero fantasy, was a testament to the power of social media. Thousands of people, including President Obama, joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation to ensure that Miles Scott's big day would be unforgettable.
Spend any time around monetary officials and one word you'll hear a lot is "normalization." Most though not all such officials accept that now is no time to be tightfisted, that for the time being credit must be easy and interest rates low. Still, the men in dark suits look forward eagerly to the day when they can go back to their usual job, snatching away the punch bowl whenever the party gets going.