Tuesday September 02, 2014
June 23rd, 2014
The release of Hillary Clinton's "Hard Choices," and Marion Barry's "Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr." within days of each other was no doubt unintentional. But the timing is nonetheless fortuitous. The books draw attention to two of Washington's most enduring political war horses.
As critics debate whether President Obama is tough enough to lead America at war, he boosted his stock by ordering the capture of the alleged mastermind of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Yet, at the same time, he appears to fiddle while Iraq burns.
Just as the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden with the president's go-ahead to the Navy Seals cast him as a decisive commander-in-chief, so has the seizing in Libya of Ahmed Abu Khattala by Army Delta Force and FBI operatives.
When historians get around to appraising the start of the new century, what will they say about it? If circumstances continue as they have been, the period may well be deemed a deep black hole in the political life of this country.
Fear not for the future of free speech after the Washington Redskins' trademark fight. The legal dividend could be more free speech, not less.
A lot of my fellow First Amendment advocates sound nervous about cancellation of the Washington pro football team's trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office this past week.
There are those who don't believe politicians can ever enjoy a second life. They're wrong. Just go to Sacramento and check in on Gov. Jerry Brown. He's not only enjoying a second political life, he's survived two, three, four, or five lives, depending on which offices you count.
You've surely heard about the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A number of veterans found themselves waiting a long time for care, some of them died before they were seen, and some of the agency's employees falsified records to cover up the extent of the problem. It's a real scandal; some heads have rolled, but there's surely more to clean up.
It was Thursday of Week 2 at the O'Bannon trial, the day Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, was going to be on the stand.
Readers often ask: Why do I travel to places like Sudan or Myanmar when we Americans have so many challenges at home to worry about?
As Janessa put it on my Facebook page: "Shouldn't we take care of the issues within our own borders BEFORE we try and fix everyone else's?"
It's a fair question, and it comes up often now. We're weary with the world, and so many humanitarian problems seem insoluble. We're ready to turn inward.
For some time, Republicans in Congress have given up the pretense of doing anything to improve the lot of most Americans. Raise the minimum wage? They won't even allow a vote. Cleaner air for all? They may partly shut down the government in a coming fight on behalf of major polluters. Add to that the continuing obstruction of student loan relief efforts, and numerous attempts to defund health care, and you have a party actively working to make life miserable for millions.