Thursday September 18, 2014
January 22nd, 2014
I think you should develop a position on the Omnibus Spending Bill.
That's the appropriations thing Congress just passed. You missed it, right? You were focused on the football playoffs or the Oscar nominations. Speaking of the Oscars, did you notice that this year there were people debating whether anybody got stiffed in the Best Song category? Really, if we can know about Best Song, we can have an opinion about the appropriations bill.
On Wednesday, a letter landed in my email inbox from Gregg Steinhafel, the chief executive of Target. He wanted me to know that there was a decent likelihood that some of my personal information had been stolen by criminals who had "forced their way into our systems," as Steinhafel put it, and pulled off one of the biggest data breaches in history.
Here's a scary fact about America: We're much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent).
President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address Jan. 28, but, for my money, his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, already gave it. Just not enough people heard it.
President Barack Obama began his speech Friday by citing surveillance in history. He said:
"At the dawn of our republic, a small, secret surveillance committee born out of the Sons of Liberty was established in Boston. And the group's members included Paul Revere. At night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America's early patriots.
It's hard to imagine anything more painful than going through the presidential campaign all over again with Mitt Romney.
Unless it's going through two presidential campaigns with Mitt Romney.
But, yes, that's the narrative of a new buzzed-about documentary that had its world premiere here Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.
In a world in which 71 journalists were killed on the job last year, the expulsion of one ink-stained wretch by Russia may seem a small matter. But the sustained effort of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin to control what is written, said or thought about the regime is a revealing moment in a broad struggle for power in a rapidly changing world.
What would Marlise Munoz have made of all of this?
It's called the Garden State and in earlier days was known for the many vegetable farms in its rural central and southern counties. But New Jersey's reputation beyond its borders more often casts it now as a rough-edged place where the natives "tawk" funny and say they come from "Joisey," (except, of course, around Princeton).
In any complex system, from the human body to the automobile, one malfunctioning part can strain the entire mechanism. The same is true of our out-of-alignment government.
A dysfunctional Congress corrodes the rest of the constitutional architecture. It imposes a burden on other branches to pick up the policymaking slack, and threatens to shift excessive authority outside the legislature.