Thursday December 12, 2013
August 22nd, 2013
It was on a hot August day in 1920 that Harry Burn, a young legislator cast the deciding vote in the Tennessee Legislature that secured the vote for the women of this nation. A week later the Secretary of State certified that the simple words, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." as the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
There are a million things that make Jack Germond, the legendary reporter and columnist who died this week after decades of covering presidential politics, different from most of the current crop of talking heads.
OK, he was not blown dry. He was the "Fat Man in a Middle Seat," the title of one of his books.
While many of his fellow Republicans continue seeking the holy grail of defunding Obamacare and another possible government shutdown over it, New Jersey's brash Gov. Chris Christie has made them an offer they would be wise not to refuse.
Hey, wait a minute. Wasn't airline deregulation supposed to bring lower prices and increased competition?
There was hope a few months ago that mounting chaos in the Middle East, and a revamping of President Barack Obama's national security team, would prompt the president to snap out of what looked like a deepening torpor in foreign policy.
Clinton nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia.
Why is it that America's roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The closer it gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around.
The Clintons' neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they're entitled to everyone's money.
Let Rand Paul have his epic filibuster and Ted Cruz his scowling threats to shut down the government. Let Chris Christie thunder to a second term as the governor of New Jersey, his hubris flowering as his ultimate designs on the White House take shape.
Last month I was in Accra, Ghana, to learn more about the African version of the new charismatic Christian churches that have become so popular in the United States and are now proliferating in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Ghana and Nigeria. What struck me was how much people spoke in tongues: language-like sounds (usually, repeated phonemes from the speaker's own language) thought by those who use them to be a language God knows but the speaker does not.
I thought I'd never live to see the day. But now it's happened. An attorney general of the United States has finally said he is ready to blow the whistle on America's ill-fated, racially tinged and cruelly applied "war on drugs."
Compared to other criminally convicted politicians that I have seen, which is a lot, Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi got off easy. But their case also stands out as more tragically bizarre and more pitiful.