Thursday September 18, 2014
August 28th, 2014
Late last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an oblique news release announcing that it was awarding an unnamed whistle-blower $400,000 for helping expose a financial fraud at an unnamed company. The money was the latest whistle-blower award - there have been 13 so far - paid as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which includes both protections for whistle-blowers and financial awards when their information leads to fines of more than $1 million.
In the realm of Republican presidential politics, this has been a good year for Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. It hasn't been as kind to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
The response to the killing of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown - whom his family called the "gentle giant" - by the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson - who was described by his police chief as "a gentle, quiet man" and "a gentleman" - has been anything but genteel.
How far would you go to stay out of jail? Would you publicly humiliate your wife of 38 years, portraying her as some kind of shrieking harridan? Would you put the innermost secrets of your marriage on display, inviting voyeurs to rummage at will?
For Robert McDonnell, the former Virginia governor on trial for alleged corruption, the answers appear to be: "As far as necessary," "Hey, why not?" and "Sounds like a plan."
For those of us who lived through the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, and for all of us who remember the Trayvon Martin murder, just two years ago, events surrounding the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown look all too familiar. As Yogi Berra would put it, it's "deja vu, all over again."
Soon the cameras, protesters, gawkers and tweeters will depart Ferguson, Missouri, leaving the question: What will be left of this embattled city when the smoke clears?
The headlines bring the accidentally colliding tale of two governors and, with it, a valuable debate about the proper role -- and proper limits -- of criminal law in policing political behavior.
Exhibit A is the questionable -- "sketchy" was the apt word used by, of all people, Democratic strategist David Axelrod -- indictment of Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
The short answer is: everything.
Amanda Curtis, a 34-year-old high school math teacher, is now the Democrats' U.S. Senate candidate in Montana. Finally, a strategy for bringing down the average age of a senator, which is around 62.
Plus, a math teacher would come in handy. "Elect somebody who knows how to count" would be an awesome campaign ad. If Curtis had the money to pay for any ads, which currently does not seem all that likely.
The tragedies unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, are doubly infuriating.
First, there is the obvious outrage of yet another unarmed black teenager being stopped by one of the town’s white police officers as he was walking to his grandmother’s home.