Archive

Date

January 22nd, 2014

Fear and Freedom

    The day after 9/11, I called one of my friends and said we should write a "quickie" book on civil liberties in times of terror. We both knew what was about to happen; any half-serious student of constitutional law could figure it out. We, as a nation, were about to crack down.

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Lessons of Benghazi

    The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there.

    Administration officials did not orchestrate any kind of attempt, politically motivated or otherwise, to deceive the American people. In their public statements, including the infamous talking points, they relied on what intelligence analysts told them.

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The Boozy, but not Newsy, Mass Media

    The Big Story this past week was the Golden Globes awards.

    The Golden Globes, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast by NBC, drew 21 million viewers for the three-hour ceremony, preceded by a one-hour Red Carpet gush-fest hosted by “Today” show personalities. There wasn’t one TV or film personality the hosts didn’t fawn over.

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The $1 Trillion Question

    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.

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Unto The Breach

    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.

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'Neglected Topic' Winner: Climate Change

    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).

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Obama's Homework Assignment

    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.

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Obama's surveillance examples from history lack relevance today

    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.

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Peeling Away The Plastic

    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.

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The battle over censorship

    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.

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