Saturday November 22, 2014
October 2nd, 2014
As anyone who's ever tried knows, the White House is one of the most difficult buildings in the world to get into. Take it from me. I go there almost every day for the daily White House press briefings. You have to go through several layers of security to get onto the grounds, before getting into the building itself.
Leaders can make decisions that signal big changes in the political, religious and ethical landscape. In naming Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis did just that.
Liberals talk about circumstances; conservatives talk about character.
President Obama began his presidency with a call for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." He will end it as a reluctant but unapologetic warrior, using U.S. military force to smash Islamic extremists and the "network of death" they have planted at the heart of the Middle East.
When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department "can and must always be a force for that which is right."
It was so sad. I'm sure there are other words to describe what I saw Wednesday morning. But that word comes to mind.
The body was covered with a white sheet. It was lying on a grassy area in the District of Columbia beneath the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge that carries Calvert Street NW. Portions of Connecticut Avenue NW and Beach Drive were cordoned off.
In an ideal world, ads for congressional candidates would not look like promos for "Homeland."
But there they are! Grainy shots of barbed wire, terrorist training camps and men in Arab garb firing large weapons, overlaid with scary sound clips from cable news. ("Are they coming for us?")
As I watched the recent PBS Series, "The Roosevelts," I couldn't help but think that not much had changed in so far as humankind's relations are concerned. We do seem to have bigger and better weapons but no lessening of the human greed that generates the so-called need for such weapons.
Now that President Obama has laid his case before the United Nations for a concerted international war on the emerging Islamic State, if and when should the argument be debated in Congress?