Tuesday December 10, 2013
October 10th, 2013
Imagine having to pick just one of your children to save, while leaving the others to face death.
One of my most searing experiences as a reporter occurred in Cambodia, where I met a woman whose daughter had just died of malaria and who was left caring for seven children and grandchildren.
The word "freedom" looms large in modern conservative rhetoric. Lobbying groups are given names like FreedomWorks; health reform is denounced not just for its cost but as an assault on, yes, freedom. Oh, and remember when we were supposed to refer to pommes frites as "freedom fries"?
Last Tuesday, the day after Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, gave a lengthy interview to Piers Morgan on CNN.
Warren is perhaps the best-known clergyman in the country, the founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and the author of the best-selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life." Five months earlier, his son Matthew, who suffered from debilitating mental illness, had used a gun to commit suicide.
The fall television season kicks into gear this week, with tons of new stuff, but before you check out any of it, you owe yourself a bigger treat. Go back and watch Chris Wallace's interview with Ted Cruz on "Fox News Sunday."
Move over Rand Paul. Ted Cruz may be cruising to the biggest loss in his short career as a senator and surpass you as the pre-eminent conservative in Congress. The Texas Republican is threatening to outfilibuster his colleague from Kentucky, who last spring seized the floor for 13 hours to denounce the domestic use of drones in a thrilling "stand with Rand" moment that had everyone marveling that we could practice democracy as it was done in the good old days.
For years, my father, a federal employee with a top secret clearance, carried a copy of his birth certificate when he went into Baja California from our home in San Diego. Many times, when he tried to reenter the U.S., he was stopped by the Border Patrol.
Much of Washington - not to mention the financial markets - is taking comfort in the belief that they've seen this movie before.
In 2011, House Republicans threatened to shut down the government and breach the debt ceiling unless the Obama administration made substantial concessions. Though the negotiations were tense, the two sides ultimately came to an agreement. There was no shutdown. There was no default. The lesson most everyone took away was that Washington always figures it out in the end.
Earlier this month, this country seemed on the brink of launching missile attacks to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against its own people. With that crisis averted, or at least postponed by diplomacy, we've moved on to the internal threat of our own government being shut down.
In both cases, President Obama finds himself on the griddle. He gets little credit for the breathing space created in the first, and in the second he has to cope with more political blackmail at home.
Voices from right field are explaining why they're justified in threatening the United States with default if Congress does not defund Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel said on Sunday chat TV, "There isn't one poll that shows that Americans approve, as a majority, of this health care law."
The man formerly hailed as a messiah was having a bad day.
The Iranians snubbed him. The Brazilians upbraided him. Ted Cruz fauxlibustered him. And you just know that, behind the scenes, the Russians were messing with him.