Wednesday November 26, 2014
August 28th, 2014
Bob McDonnell arrived Monday at the federal courthouse in Richmond, a few blocks from the mansion he once occupied as Virginia governor, to finally present his defense on charges of corruption. Shorn of the security detail and large staff he once enjoyed, and about 20 pounds lighter, he looked vulnerable.
I once knew a curmudgeonly physician whose wife practiced family therapy. In her off hours, she often counseled a small army of girlfriends through romantic entanglements. One evening at dinner, the grumpy doctor decided he'd heard enough secondhand tales of woe.
Republicans have grown even more confident about the midterm elections, convinced that the economy - where the actual data look good, though public perception remains sour - is moving in their favor.
For Colorado, with a new wave of state test scores just released from the previous school year, it’s a “gulp” moment. Years of intensive school “accountability” have yielded little but air.
The Denver Post editorial board says it this way: “Despite 10 years of bold efforts in educational reform, very little seems to have changed in terms of student achievement.”
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?