Wednesday October 01, 2014
September 25th, 2014
Remember Richard Clarke, the presidential counterterrorism adviser whose hair was on fire about al-Qaida long before the Sept. 11 attacks and whose warnings of a threat from hijacked planes were ignored by the administration of President George W. Bush?
In Barack Obama's determination to preserve his legacy as the president who got America off a permanent war footing after the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he is relying on transparent semantics.
President Obama is adamant that the war against the Islamic State will not escalate to the use of U.S. ground troops. But the more I see and hear of his strategy, the more I fear that "mission creep" -- even if the president resists it -- is baked in from the start.
I turned on ESPN about 15 minutes before Roger Goodell's Friday afternoon news conference. There was a round table of analysts and reporters, led by Bob Ley, the journalist who covers the serious side of sports for the network. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought they were prepping for a coming news conference by a politician in trouble rather than the commissioner of the National Football League.
Congress is gone. But not forgotten.
OK, to be honest, they're totally forgotten. The members of the House and Senate have been out of session for about a day, and the nation has already totally wiped them from the memory bank.
Oh, America's Legislature, we hardly knew ye.
The latest meeting of the People Who Influence Everything from Auto Loans to 401(k) Plans - a.k.a. the Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee - has just concluded. The Fed confirmed Wednesday that, as expected, it will stop buying bonds with freshly printed money in October but did not say when, exactly, it will end its recession-fighting zero-interest-rate policy.
No wonder members of Congress are walking around with big smiles on their faces these days. They're used to being the most disgraced people in the country. But now there's one group that has an even worse reputation: the NFL.
This just in: Saving the planet would be cheap; it might even be free. But will anyone believe the good news?
We've seen this dreaded movie before. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared before a Senate committee this week and said that, under certain circumstances, he might recommend that President Barack Obama send U.S. ground forces to help fight the Islamic State, the terrorist group known as ISIS.
Mark Sanford's heralded engagement to Maria Belen Chapur is apparently over. The rep from South Carolina released the news to America through a Facebook post. That's how Chapur found out, too.
Gallantry has been in especially short supply this month. Prominent American men have been roughing up their women in spectacularly public ways -- ranging from coldly calculated mind games to a knockout punch.