Wednesday December 11, 2013
August 8th, 2013
The news from a Fort Meade courtroom was mixed, at best. Those expecting Pfc. Bradley Manning to be set free were disappointed. But so were those waiting for him to be marched straight to death row.
The rapid evolution of attitudes toward gay marriage is a wonder to behold. On few issues has public opinion moved as quickly or decisively. Many who are against the formal recognition of homosexual unions are now resigned to the reality they will eventually become commonplace.
If you devoured the story of a simple vandalism case this week because the suspect is the son of a prominent Washington journalist, you weren't alone.
For many people, there is an undeniable and guilty satisfaction in seeing the offspring of luminaries screw up.
Can a woman effectively run the Federal Reserve? That shouldn't even be a question. And Janet Yellen, the vice chairwoman of the Fed's Board of Governors, isn't just up to the job; by any objective standard, she's the best-qualified person in America to take over when Ben Bernanke steps down as chairman.
President Obama took yet another stab this week at boosting the economy, offering congressional Republicans a cut in the corporate tax rate in return for a $50 billion investment in sagging U.S. infrastructure. That the GOP immediately rejected the deal should come as no surprise. But Republicans should at least be made to stipulate where they think investment in the United States is going to come from.
It may be that Pope Francis is the only one asking, "Who am I to judge?" The rest of us judge our fellow man all the time - and inconsistently.
We swing, with help from the news media, between our Puritan heritage and our more libertine present as we decide who can sin and go on and who can't. We brush aside scandals that are more personally damaging: We are bored by the financial, which is complicated, and riveted by the sexual, which isn't.
Can Huma save Anthony Weiner? Why Huma "stands by her man." What is Huma thinking? These and other pseudo questions top our political news these days.
One appreciates the enormous entertainment value of the repetitiously lewd former Rep. Anthony Weiner, as of this writing still a candidate for New York City mayor. But this obsession also reflects a political culture that turned our politicians' nephews, daughters, sons and wives into mini royals.
Where is China's Detroit? A few weeks ago, the answer to that question would have been an optimistic shortlist of towns with thriving automobile industries. But since Detroit filed for bankruptcy on July 18, the question has become this: Which Chinese city will be the poster child for the country's growing multitrillion-dollar local-government-debt problem?
Think of them as the quietly courageous generation: African American men and women who embarked in the last century on the difficult trails that life laid before them. Think of them as the generation that took on the challenges, endured the slights and overcame the roadblocks, yet never stooped to whining and complaining. Think of them as the generation that succeeded with confidence, honor and their dignity intact.
The strangest part of the increasingly bitter shadow campaign for chairman of the Federal Reserve is that the contest is not really about monetary policy. It's about financial regulation.