Archive - 2014

September 25th

Theater Of War Unavoidable For Commander-In-Chief

    Maybe next time, they'll award the Nobel Peace Prize at the end of a politician's tenure rather than the beginning. There was always something mildly farcical about the Swedish committee recognizing President Obama's lofty rhetoric in advance of real achievements.

    It's like awarding the Oscar before the movie's released.

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The Messy Campaign Against the Islamic State

    President Barack Obama's rollout of a military campaign in Syria against the Islamic State gets messier by the day.

    Obama's initial framing of the campaign, as a limited effort in partnership with allies, to degrade the Islamic State, made sense, and it was encouraging that Obama dampened expectations and clearly understood how much could go wrong.

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Ted Cruz Dreams Up Assorted Fossil Fuel Favors

    Let’s take a cruise down the narrow byways and twisting turns that form Senator Ted Cruz’s mind.

    The first right turn on our road trip brings us to a sweeping view of the Texas Republican’s Energy Renaissance Act, a proposal so studded with fossil fuel favors that it ought be called the “Exxon Mobil Relief Act.”

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Taxing the #RichKids

    It doesn’t take long for viewers of #RichKids of Beverly Hills to realize the show is deliberately trying to make you feel poor.

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Sex Is the Least of It

    Let us all contemplate the fact that Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina is running for re-election unopposed.

    Sanford was, of course, the governor who sneaked off to Argentina for an assignation while his befuddled aides claimed he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

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Hillary and the Iowa steak fry

    Democrats from around the country, and political chroniclers as well, again flocked to Iowa last weekend for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's annual steak fry, a traditional event for raising cholesterol levels and presidential ambitions.

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Candidate Clinton then and now

    The headline out of Hillary Clinton's visit to Iowa was her flagrant flirtation with the prospect of another presidential campaign. The more interesting part was the shortest of sneak previews of the race she seems increasingly certain to run.

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California Adds Steam to the Bag-Banning Movement

    California is on the verge of becoming the first state to ban plastic grocery bags. Governor Jerry Brown says he intends to sign the bag-banning law California lawmakers approved in early September. The ban will go into effect at grocery stores and pharmacies next year and extend to liquor stores and additional kinds of retailers in 2016.

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A Simpler Solution to Climate Change

    Even if climate science is complicated, author Naomi Klein wants you to know that finding a solution to global warming is easy.

    In her powerful new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, the Canadian globalization expert drills through the noisy climate debate and finds that humanity has no choice but to ditch its fossil fuel-driven global economy for a local model powered by renewable energy.

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Yes, it's a tax — and hooray for that

    I’ll never forget Sen. Phil Gramm, the staunch fiscal hawk and self-proclaimed budget-balancer, telling me how it was just fine for the Reagan administration to enact the nation’s largest peacetime military buildup without raising taxes to pay for it.

      Borrowing, he said, was the American way. “You do it for your house, don’t you?”

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