Tuesday September 01, 2015
February 12th, 2015
Maybe we should just call off the National Prayer Breakfast and stop asking presidents to offer their thoughts about faith and religion. If they go beyond making all present feel good about how religious and upright they are, presidents can get into a lot of trouble.
Such is the daggers-drawn state of political discourse in Washington these days that President Obama could go to the National Prayer Breakfast, call the Islamic State a "brutal, vicious death cult" -- and still end up being assailed by conservatives.
Obama's offense? He dared to note that Islam is not the only religion to have been perverted to justify violence and atrocity.
Many economists, including Janet Yellen, view global economic troubles since 2008 largely as a story about "deleveraging" - a simultaneous attempt by debtors almost everywhere to reduce their liabilities. Why is deleveraging a problem? Because my spending is your income, and your spending is my income, so if everyone slashes spending at the same time, incomes go down around the world.
Conservatives in Congress have once again proven they are un-American and unpatriotic. This time, it’s because of their fierce approval for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline, being built and run by TransCanada, will bring tar sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. All the oil will be exported. Major beneficiaries, including House Speaker John Boehner, are those who invest in a Canadian company.
Less than a year before Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses, it appears that every Republican contender is making a serious play to win the state, setting up what is likely to be one of the most active, competitive campaigns here in recent memory.
Back during the Vietnam War, CBS news anchorman Walter Cronkite was judged in the polls to be "the most trusted man in America" for his straightforward nightly reports. When he went to Vietnam and returned saying the war was "mired in stalemate," it was widely reported that President Lyndon Johnson had observed, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America" -- or some variation thereof.
The Black Lives Matter protesters took some criticism for what others viewed as a lack of clear focus and detailed agenda. But in truth, raising an issue to the point where it can no longer be ignored is the grist for the policy mill. Visibility and vocalization have value.
Is support for childhood vaccinations a partisan issue? Polls indicate that it isn't, yet Republicans appear to be getting stung by this needle more than Democrats are.
The question has come up after Republican presidential hopefuls Chris Christie and Rand Paul said that parents should have a choice and not be required by law to immunize their children.
In a few backward parts of the world, extremists resist universal childhood vaccinations. The Taliban in tribal areas of Pakistan. Boko Haram militants in Northern Nigeria.
Oh, yes, one more: Some politicians in the United States.
First it conquered search. Then it was online video and advertising. Now Google is turning its attention toward telecom - and it's no experiment.