Thursday January 29, 2015
June 23rd, 2014
There are those who don't believe politicians can ever enjoy a second life. They're wrong. Just go to Sacramento and check in on Gov. Jerry Brown. He's not only enjoying a second political life, he's survived two, three, four, or five lives, depending on which offices you count.
You've surely heard about the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A number of veterans found themselves waiting a long time for care, some of them died before they were seen, and some of the agency's employees falsified records to cover up the extent of the problem. It's a real scandal; some heads have rolled, but there's surely more to clean up.
It was Thursday of Week 2 at the O'Bannon trial, the day Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, was going to be on the stand.
Readers often ask: Why do I travel to places like Sudan or Myanmar when we Americans have so many challenges at home to worry about?
As Janessa put it on my Facebook page: "Shouldn't we take care of the issues within our own borders BEFORE we try and fix everyone else's?"
It's a fair question, and it comes up often now. We're weary with the world, and so many humanitarian problems seem insoluble. We're ready to turn inward.
For some time, Republicans in Congress have given up the pretense of doing anything to improve the lot of most Americans. Raise the minimum wage? They won't even allow a vote. Cleaner air for all? They may partly shut down the government in a coming fight on behalf of major polluters. Add to that the continuing obstruction of student loan relief efforts, and numerous attempts to defund health care, and you have a party actively working to make life miserable for millions.
Republicans feel good about this fall's election even though their party is sharply divided and its brand is badly tainted.
The House GOP last week elected a balanced ticket of leaders in a relatively harmonious process. Nonetheless, the party's right still complained that its voices were not heard.
Henry Kissinger was wrong to dismiss Chile as "a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica." On Wednesday, the South American nation was a scalpel that excised the soul of Spain.
As a lifelong soccer fan, Kissinger doubtless understands what I mean: A particularly delightful and surprising World Cup tournament -- the world's greatest sporting event -- is in full swing.
Some politicians know they want to be in public office and scramble to come up with the reason why. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is an accidental, improbable politician -- a self-described "outsider" -- who knows exactly what she wants to accomplish on the inside.
The Massachusetts Democrat insists that she's not running for president, and there's little reason to doubt her -- although, interestingly, Warren sticks doggedly to the present tense to describe her intentions.
Have you stopped using your hands? Do your fingers struggle to sign your name? Is chopping an onion with a knife hard work? Must you call someone to fix a cabinet door off the hinges? Is it agony to sew on a button?
For many, computers and laziness have sapped our manual skills. This is not progress.