Archive - 2014

August 10th

The Untransparent CIA

    If the CIA spends half as much energy finding terrorists as it has spent fighting Congress, we should feel very safe.

    The spooks, taking a break from the mundane work of protecting the nation, have lately been turning their spycraft against the lawmakers who are supposed to be overseeing them. The not-so-secret mission: To block the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on tortu--, uh, enhanced interrogation methods.

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Presidential overreach is in eye of the beholder

    As the battle intensifies over how much authority President Barack Obama has to take executive measures in the face of congressional inaction, James Madison and Richard Nixon provide the frames of reference.

    The Republican-controlled House is planning to sue Obama for exceeding his executive authority, and threats of impeachment are in the air if, as expected, the president unilaterally exempts - at least temporarily - more undocumented immigrants from deportation. This isn't a new fight.

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Obama doctrine put to the test

    Even as President Obama continues to insist that there will be no return of American "boots on the ground" in Iraq, stark reality is severely testing what has come to be known as the Obama Doctrine--that the use of U.S. military power has limits defined by America's own national interests.

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What the pope got wrong about kids

    The pope may be infallible, but he is not correct.

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This Is Reform?

    Too little, too late.

    On Thursday, the 18 members of the NCAA's Division I board of directors voted 16-2 to allow the five richest conferences to play by their own rules, at least a little bit.

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RAPE - RAPE - RAPE

    Growing up in the generation when the word rape was hardly said out loud I am dismayed at how not just the word but the actuality of the act has become so common. I am appalled at the statistics regarding reported rapes with ample evidence that these statistics represent a small portion of what is believed to be reality.

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Obama on the World

    President Barack Obama's hair is definitely grayer these days, and no doubt trying to manage foreign policy in a world of increasing disorder accounts for at least half of those gray hairs. (The Tea Party can claim the other half.) But having had a chance to spend an hour touring the horizon with him in the White House Map Room late Friday afternoon, it's clear that the president has a take on the world, born of many lessons over the last six years, and he has feisty answers for all his foreign policy critics.

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It's A Can't-Lose Year

    Wow, it appears that Republicans in Tennessee just gave a vote of confidence to a right-wing congressman-doctor who has a history of having sex with his patients and encouraging the women in his life to end inconvenient pregnancies by abortion.

    This would be Rep. Scott DesJarlais, one of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. The vote in Thursday's primary was so close that they may still be recounting on Inauguration Day.

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Is a Hard Life Inherited?

    One delusion common among America's successful people is that they triumphed just because of hard work and intelligence.

    In fact, their big break came when they were conceived in middle-class American families who loved them, read them stories, and nurtured them with Little League sports, library cards and music lessons. They were programmed for success by the time they were zygotes.

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Grief, Smoke and Salvation

    People who don't know the full truth about Mike Solomonov judge him by his fried chicken at Federal Donuts, a cult favorite in this city, and by his hummus at Zahav, an Israeli restaurant here of national renown. They're the signposts in a career that has burned bright in recent years and seems destined to burn brighter still.

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