Archive

Date

May 29th, 2014

Sending drones not divisions

    In the post-Cold War era, it was possible to hold grand illusions and chase utopian dreams. As President Obama understands, and his foreign policy critics fail to grasp, that time is past.

    We live now in a post-post-Cold War world. At West Point this week, Obama attempted to sketch a different kind of U.S. leadership -- less messianic and martial, more cautious and collaborative -- designed to deal with things as they are, not as we might have hoped they would be.

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May 26th

The Sounds of Silence—Political Style

    A hush has fallen over our house.

    It began late Tuesday night and, if we are fortunate, will last at least a week.

    But it will return. We have no illusions that there will be continued quiet.

    That’s because we are in the middle of yet another election cycle.

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A little campus outrage

    The first thing that occurs to an observer is that this is a mismatch in weight classes. The big-gutted officers fit in the sumo category. The college students? They fit in the stringy category.

    Stringy but strong-willed, they stand tall — even as they get riot-batoned in their torsos, cuffed and dragged away.

    As troubling as the video is — YouTube it yourself -- it is very encouraging, because this is not Berkeley in 1968. It’s 2011.

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Strange Judging

    It is often said that judges don't make the law. Their role is to interpret it in disputes; however, without doubt some strange interpretations do turn up from time to time. Some are so outrageous that it is difficult not to dismissively categorize all judges as rather strange, carried away with their own power.

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Obama swings for first base on foreign policy

    Why is everyone piling on President Barack Obama's foreign policy - and how fair is the criticism?

    A friend inside the administration asked me those questions last week, knowing that I'd been a critic for some time. The notion that President Obama has been too passive, until recently a minority view, seems to be gelling into conventional wisdom.

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Why is innovation so hard for newspapers?

    Nearly fifteen years ago, I participated in a project with a major American newspaper trying to chart its course from print to digital.

    The Internet was in the midst of its first rampage through traditional business, with the industries then known as "mass media" directly in its path.

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The broken nature of the fixed-rate mortgage

    Today's subject is housing, and as part of my research I've been going through the U.S. Constitution, looking for the exact words that guarantee Americans access to a 30-year, fixed-rate home mortgage.

    I haven't found the provision yet, but it must be in there somewhere: As everyone knows from listening to the debate over fixing our damaged housing finance system, the long-term fixed, or FRM for short, is as essential to America as free speech or the right to a jury trial.

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Raise wages, create jobs

    The standard argument - really, the only argument - against raising the minimum wage is that it will lead to job loss. The argument is beloved by die-hard opponents of raising the wage because it provides them with a veneer, however flimsy, of concern about the welfare of the working poor.

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Hitler belongs in history books, not on bus ads

    I would like my D6 bus without a side of Hitler, please.

    Twenty Metro buses are crisscrossing the nation's capital with Das Fuhrer on their sides for the next month thanks to an incendiary, anti-Muslim ad campaign by the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

    The westbound D6 featured a PNC Bank ad early Monday. Whew. But Shanna Dick is ready for Hitler's face if it ever appears on that route.

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Triumphant Geithner omits cost of rescue success

    Tim Geithner's valuable career as a civil servant culminated in four high-powered years as Treasury secretary. His recent book about those experiences captures the traumas and tensions of the financial crisis.

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