Wednesday December 17, 2014
Archive - 2014
To recover from their debacle in the midterm elections, Democrats have seized on two questionable propositions: They lost mainly because of President Barack Obama's unpopularity, and the 2016 presidential election will be more favorable.
I support many Democratic policy positions and want to see them succeed. The Affordable Care Act, in particular, is a worthy endeavor: Despite the botched rollout and a great deal of unfinished business, I want to see it prevail. Sometimes, though, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the incompetence Democrats bring to the task of selling their best ideas. The party, without a doubt, is its own worst enemy.
How goes the war against the Islamic State? A useful barometer is the position of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is the most reliable U.S. ally in the battle - and holds the longest front against the terrorists. Four months ago, two senior Kurdish officials traveled to Washington to deliver some dire warnings: The Islamic State was still expanding, no military force in the region could stop it and Kurdistan itself was no longer willing to be part of a shattered Iraq.
Six years ago the Federal Reserve hit rock bottom. It had been cutting the federal funds rate, the interest rate it uses to steer the economy, more or less frantically in an unsuccessful attempt to get ahead of the recession and financial crisis. But it eventually reached the point where it could cut no more, because interest rates can't go below zero. On Dec. 16, 2008, the Fed set its interest target between 0 and 0.25 percent, where it remains to this day.
Barack Obama's decision to follow through on his plan to reform immigration policy through an executive order is an uncharacteristically bold gamble, made in the hope of salvaging the final two years of his presidency and his own political legacy.
Agree or disagree with Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, the president did something important, laudable, and with potentially long-lasting consequences in announcing the move: He released the Office of Legal Counsel memorandum outlining the legal justification for it.
Looking back at my 2013 picks for the Washington area's "Turkeys of the Year," I see I overlooked Maryland's hapless Obamacare Web site.
How did I miss that one? The Free State boasted that the site would be a national leader. It crashed on its first day and cost more than $40 million to rebuild.
Republican fury over President Barack Obama's drastic executive action on immigration distracts from the most obvious solution: the sensible compromise that senators from both parties passed more than 500 days ago, only to have it bottled up by Speaker John Boehner in the House.
It has one major flaw, as far as House Republicans are concerned: Obama likes it.
Don't let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don't allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president's tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.
Members of a Maryland church were preparing a turkey supper when they looked out the window and discovered several distant relatives of the main course approaching.