Thursday September 18, 2014
June 4th, 2014
Barack Obama need not ask how well he's doing in coal country, because the answer is always the same: Not well.
A cerebral black man never had much of a chance in poor, rural white Appalachia; let's be honest (though we don't have to like it). In 2012, Obama lost to Mitt Romney in West Virginia by a 27-point margin. So Obama had little to lose politically in proposing new rules to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Can you hate the federal government but love the money it spends on you?
The electoral earthquake that was Mississippi's Republican Senate primary has pushed this question to the forefront of American politics.
Growing up in the South I became quite familiar with various colloquial expressions to describe different situations. My mother often used one such in noting bizarre behavior: "It takes all kinds in this old world." That certainly covers the many human foibles of these days.
Four and a half years ago, President Obama made a speech at West Point in which he announced an escalation of the war effort in Afghanistan. "After 18 months," he declared, "our troops will begin to come home."
I sipped the Kool-Aid at the time but left a lot of it in the glass.
Any freedom, no matter how precious, is subject to abuse. Liberty minus the rule of law equals anarchy. Unless tempered by "a little practical wisdom," Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson famously warned in 1949, the Bill of Rights might become "a suicide pact."
Yes, all women have been harassed.
Yes, all women have been judged by our looks, not our merit.
Yes, all women have been around men who have discounted, denied and demeaned us.
There are three big winners from the recent Supreme Court decisions that Sen. John McCain says might "dismantle entirely" campaign-finance laws: wealthy interests, greedy politicians and investigative journalists.
Wealthy individuals, corporations and unions will spend unlimited sums to affect elections, and rich donors can now give huge amounts to political party committees.
Let's hope the situation at the Department of Veterans Affairs gets just a little bit worse. Not dying worse, but enough to stir President Barack Obama to forceful action.
For Obama, a crisis isn't a terrible thing to waste but a hard thing to feel. He's too smart to get upset, or as senior adviser Valerie Jarrett explained to biographer David Remnick, Obama has "been bored his whole life." He's "just too talented to do what ordinary people do."
The brew is weaker but still being drunk in Texas, as the tea party there bucked a national trend and toppled more establishment Republicans on Tuesday.
Tuesday's vote marks the end of the line for two of the most durable figures in Texas. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost his bid to run for re-election to Dan Patrick, a state legislator and radio host, and 17-term Rep. Ralph Hall lost to a lawyer, John Ratcliffe.