Saturday November 22, 2014
Archive - 2014
House Speaker John Boehner has said that President Obama would "poison the well" for legislative action on immigration reform by unilaterally issuing executive orders. But how can you poison a well that has already been filled with partisan cyanide?
With only two years left in his final term -- and after a stinging rebuke to his party in the midterm elections, the president is showing a new attitude: No more Mr. Nice Guy.
First he threw down a challenge on the immigration issue. After years of setbacks and delays, Obama boldly vowed to take executive action to protect as many as 6 million undocumented immigrants from fear of deportation.
The great American Ebola freakout of 2014 seems to be over. The disease is still ravaging Africa, and as with any epidemic, there's always a risk of a renewed outbreak. But there haven't been any new U.S. cases for a while, and popular anxiety is fading fast.
Before we move on, however, let's try to learn something from the panic.
Oh, please. All the melodramatic Republican outrage isn't fooling anybody. The only reason President Obama has to act on immigration reform is that House Speaker John Boehner won't.
President Obama's plan to bypass Congress in shielding millions of immigrants from deportation is not the best way to do immigration reform. But if confrontation is what it takes to get House Republicans off their rear ends and deal with the problem, so be it.
I know it wasn't planned this way, but there is a certain genius in how we snug Election Day up against Halloween on the calendar. We scare each other for fun and profit on the last day of October every year, but then in even-numbered years, we keep going. We scare each other on the first Tuesday thereafter, too, rolling right from our night of haunted houses and zombie costumes into a national election that's being directed like the shower scene from "Psycho."
The U.S. midterm elections have had almost everything, except a vision for governing.
Democrats leveled charges that hard-hearted Republicans would slice Granny's Social Security and throw her off the Medicare rolls while denying younger women contraception. Republican critics refer to Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall as Mark "Uterus" for his emphasis on women's issues.
If I asked you to help pay college tuition for youngsters from wealthy families in Potomac, Md., or McLean, Va., my guess is you would not be enthusiastic.
Mike Weisser is my favorite gun dealer. The longtime proprietor of the Ware Gun Shop in Ware, Massachusetts, Weisser, 70, estimates he has sold more than 40,000 guns in his career as a wholesaler and retailer. He also has a nice little business teaching a gun-safety course that Massachusetts requires of all new gun owners.
The crisis in our political system is less about party than about horizon. To understand why, consider the issue of climate change.