Saturday December 20, 2014
Archive - Jan 2014
You knew what might be coming when Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma announced in November that he had a recurrence of cancer. He managed for a long time with a triple threat - colon and prostate cancer and a benign brain tumor. He announced Thursday that he will leave at the end of this congressional session to spend the time he has left with his three children and seven grandchildren. It may be one of the only times when a politician says he wants to spend more time with his family and we know it is utterly the truth.
As a recovering nicotine addict, the rising tide of local bans against puffing in public on electronic cigarettes makes me wonder what the lawmakers have been smoking.
By an overwhelming 45-4, Chicago's City Council has voted to follow New York, Los Angeles and other cities that have passed or are considering limits on e-cigarettes that banish their use in restaurants, bars and most other indoor public places.
The day after 9/11, I called one of my friends and said we should write a "quickie" book on civil liberties in times of terror. We both knew what was about to happen; any half-serious student of constitutional law could figure it out. We, as a nation, were about to crack down.
The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there.
Administration officials did not orchestrate any kind of attempt, politically motivated or otherwise, to deceive the American people. In their public statements, including the infamous talking points, they relied on what intelligence analysts told them.
The Big Story this past week was the Golden Globes awards.
The Golden Globes, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast by NBC, drew 21 million viewers for the three-hour ceremony, preceded by a one-hour Red Carpet gush-fest hosted by “Today” show personalities. There wasn’t one TV or film personality the hosts didn’t fawn over.
I think you should develop a position on the Omnibus Spending Bill.
That's the appropriations thing Congress just passed. You missed it, right? You were focused on the football playoffs or the Oscar nominations. Speaking of the Oscars, did you notice that this year there were people debating whether anybody got stiffed in the Best Song category? Really, if we can know about Best Song, we can have an opinion about the appropriations bill.
On Wednesday, a letter landed in my email inbox from Gregg Steinhafel, the chief executive of Target. He wanted me to know that there was a decent likelihood that some of my personal information had been stolen by criminals who had "forced their way into our systems," as Steinhafel put it, and pulled off one of the biggest data breaches in history.
Here's a scary fact about America: We're much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent).
President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address Jan. 28, but, for my money, his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, already gave it. Just not enough people heard it.
President Barack Obama began his speech Friday by citing surveillance in history. He said:
"At the dawn of our republic, a small, secret surveillance committee born out of the Sons of Liberty was established in Boston. And the group's members included Paul Revere. At night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America's early patriots.