Saturday February 06, 2016
Archive - Jan 2014
In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable?) This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than problem-fixing.
It's rare that you can look at your television screen and see not only what is happening but also what might have been. Chris Christie's inaugural address on Tuesday was at once a masterful summary of the best thinking among Republicans about where their party needs to move and a compendium of proclamations that now carry unfortunate double-meanings.
There is a difference between being married and not being married. That difference has come into sharp focus in the romantic life of French President Francois Hollande, a sort of Socialist Sun King around whom women revolve. All of his female companions are reputedly strong, but none seems strong enough to tell him to scram.
One of the first lessons every political activist learns the hard way is: Change doesn't happen overnight. No matter how noble the cause, it usually has to simmer for years before it finally heats up and public support turns around. Then, finally, your efforts pay off, you win the day, and you wonder why it took so long -- or how anybody could have opposed your idea in the first place.
"The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes."
John Maynard Keynes wrote that in 1936, but it applies to our own time, too. And, in a better world, our leaders would be doing all they could to address both faults.
Whoa, Virginia. You're totally confusing us here.
Rainbow flags and Old Sparky in the same week?
When news broke Thursday that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will fight the state's ban on same-sex marriage - after he voted for it eight years ago - it seemed that the time had come to start calling the commonwealth New Dominion.
It's not often we think about Mike Huckabee. True, he has a talk show. But so does half the world. Kelly Ripa has a talk show. Geraldo Rivera has a talk show. How often do they come up in conversation?
Now, Huckabee is suddenly in the news, thanks to a speech he made at a Republican Party gathering in Washington, in which he dismissed the idea that the GOP has a "war on women" by ...
It strikes me as illogical, sexist and just plain wrong to blame former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's ruinous legal woes on his wife Maureen. She may be the one with the champagne taste, but he sipped the bubbly, too -- knowing that the family budget barely had room for beer.
Politics is a business of back-scratching. The teller window at the political favor bank is open 24/7 for deposits and withdrawals. You raise bundles; I appoint you to an ambassadorship. You offer your private jet or vacation home; I speak at your corporate headquarters, touting your products.
Shades of Cold War anxiety were rekindled recently by reports that Air Force investigations were underway into alleged drug use, as well as cheating on preparedness tests, among nuclear missile launch officers working in the nation's pressure-cooker underground bunkers.