Thursday October 30, 2014
March 12th, 2014
Shrewd reporting about the Ukraine crisis comes from The Onion, which declared that American reaction is evenly divided - between the "wholly indifferent" and the "grossly misinformed."
In the latter category, it seems, belong the chest-thumpers who blame the Crimea catastrophe on President Barack Obama.
On the road to Sevastopol, Russian flags and a Russian Orthodox cross adorn a checkpoint manned by Crimea's pro-Russian civilian defense force. A banner announces: "Where We Are, There Is Russia."
Certain political cliches cry out to join the list of the biggest lies in the world. Today's candidate: Partisan politics stops at the water's edge.
The sentiment was first voiced by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, a Michigan Republican who became chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1947. Vandenberg was for real, providing enthusiastic support for President Harry Truman's Cold War policies.
A lot of people keep waiting for the Democratic Party to jump into the deep end. Pew Research Center pollster Andrew Kohut produced the latest installment in this vein with a Washington Post essay, "Are the Democrats Getting Too Liberal?"
I get it. Republicans have gone mad, so by some assumed but never fully articulated law of physics, Democrats must be primed to let their freak flag fly, too. Newtonian politics.
I'm not ashamed to admit it: I love politics. I've been at it for decades. It's important. It's fun. I've made a good living out of it, as campaign manager, candidate and commentator. But there are times when partisan politics has no place. And this is one of them.
Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. So when you see something like the current scramble by Republicans to declare their deep concern for America's poor, it's a good sign, indicating a positive change in social norms. Goodbye, sneering at the 47 percent; hello, fake compassion.
Historical analogizing is a risky business, but in the wake of Vladimir Putin's strike on Ukraine, it's also a growth industry.
Many American cities now enjoy an amazing reversal of fortune. Once hollowed-out shells mainly for those too poor to move -- or those so rich they didn't have to deal with the poor -- cities are again filling up with educated and aspiring young people.
They are flooding into Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and other places once given up for dead. The influx of newcomers with money has raised housing prices and property taxes for many longtime residents, leading to social conflict.
The examples are becoming too ridiculous to ignore, don't you think?
On Thursday, the military's sexual assault morass was on display on both shores of the Potomac River.
On the Virginia side, Pentagon officials admitted that the Army's top man in charge of prosecuting sexual assault is being investigated for allegedly groping and trying to kiss a lawyer at - of all places - a conference on sexual assault.
A popular argument holds that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a big mistake.
Because of Putin's violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, Ukraine is more likely to look west and prosper. Russia will be increasingly isolated and grow poorer. And Moscow will be stuck with responsibility for Crimea.