Wednesday December 18, 2013
November 28th, 2013
Any American old enough remember 50 years ago is likely to recall just how and where he or she heard of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the sorrowful and dramatic days following November 22, 1963, culminating in his burial on that Arlington Cemetery hillside overlooking the Lincoln Memorial.
Even now, 13 years later, Brian Lewis, a former Navy petty officer third class, has difficulty describing how he was raped at knifepoint by a superior officer.
Lewis, stocky in a Harley-Davidson T-shirt, with hair as close-cropped as a newly enlisted sailor's, pauses for long moments and frequently squeezes his eyes shut as he tells the story.
The defense reauthorization bill is drawing more interest than usual, because this year it comes with a catfight - or so the press and the male cats in the Senate would have it.
The debate over amendments that would change how military sexual assaults are handled pits two allies on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., against each other.
For many years there has been one overwhelming rule for people who wanted to be considered serious inside the Beltway. It was this: You must declare your willingness to cut Social Security in the name of "entitlement reform." It wasn't really about the numbers, which never supported the notion that Social Security faced an acute crisis. It was instead a sort of declaration of identity, a way to show that you were an establishment guy, willing to impose pain (on other people, as usual) in the name of fiscal responsibility.
Martin Short had the best line at Saturday night's Governors Awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
"President Obama said if you like your Oscar, you can keep it."
Presumably, Angelina Jolie will. When a Hollywood crowd (full of Democrats) roars, you know that a complete screw-up by the administration has fully entered the popular culture.
A few ads offering free children on the Internet:
"Born in October of 2000 - this handsome boy, 'Rick,' was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please."
"We adopted an 8-year-old girl from China. ... Unfortunately, we are now struggling, having been home for 5 days."
And I thought my family Thanksgivings were rough.
My sister, who loved W. and worked on his 2000 convention, made it clear that I was not welcome in her guest room when I was writing about the phony run-up to the Iraq War. And my brother once scolded me at a holiday dinner, "If there was a hurricane, you'd blame Bush for it."
Then the Katrina catastrophe unfolded, as W. blithely mountain biked in Crawford, and I did.
Pondering America’s economic system is a bit like going to the mechanic with your old heap and being told there’s nothing more he can do.
It’s time for a new economy, but we’re going to keep our clunker economy that persists only because so many bigwigs profit handsomely from it. They have the clout to keep it going, even if most of us are getting terrible mileage.
One of the many problems with the Senate filibuster rule is that it requires us to think about the Senate filibuster rule.
The American public has other things to do! The American public is extremely busy! The holidays are coming up, and the American public's workload is somewhat larger than, say, that of the House of Representatives, which is planning to show up for four full days in the month of December.
So give the American public a break.