Thursday October 02, 2014
Archive - 2014
Another man has made a wild uninformed statement on the subject of rape. Where in the world are these men coming from? What are they thinking? How do they fancy themselves as such experts on rape?
The Labor Day weekend just past marked the traditional Democratic pitch to American working stiffs. President Obama made it by asking them to put their collective shoulders to the wheel for the self-styled Party of the People in the November congressional midterm elections, so critical to his hopes for a more cooperative Capitol Hill in his last two White House years.
As if beheadings were not terrifying enough, as if the spread of extremism and hatred were not unsettling enough, as if the kidnapping of young girls were not horrifying enough, the world now faces another crisis requiring that countries barely able to provide anything approaching minimal medical care in the best of times deal with a deadly epidemic for which there is no medicine, no cure and, in many places, no health-care facilities, let alone isolation wards.
In the run-up to this week's North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, much has been made of the fact that the United States is one of just a handful of the 28 member states that spends more than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense - along with Britain, Estonia and Greece, and the latter qualifies only because its GDP has collapsed even faster than its military budget.
What is it that makes a powerful faction in our body politic demand tight money even in a depressed, low-inflation economy?
Reading companies' annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though, there is a significant revelation in the paperwork. This year, one of the most important revelations came from Microsoft's filings, which spotlighted how the tax code allows corporations to enjoy the benefits of American citizenship yet avoid paying U.S. taxes.
In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt went to Chicago to give one of the most celebrated speeches of his presidency. Pushing against isolationist sentiment, he condemned the "unjustified interference in the internal affairs of other nations" and "the invasion of alien territory in violation of treaties."
Give President Obama credit for one thing. He's accomplished something nobody else could do. In a city long frozen in partisan gridlock, he's done the impossible. He's succeeded in getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on something. Unfortunately for him, what they all agree on is that he's too weak in his response to the growing threat of ISIS.
Today, fast-food workers in more than 100 cities will stage another in a series of one-day strikes, in some places engaging in civil disobedience. The workers' "Fight for 15" campaign, an effort to win $15 hourly wages and contracts from some of the nation's largest employers, most particularly McDonald's, has been building steadily since a small band of employees first walked off the job two years ago in New York.