Tuesday September 02, 2014
April 13th, 2014
Fifty years later, it's hard to imagine the enactment of the Civil Rights Act by today's polarized Congress. Maybe, as the old saying goes, today's fighting is so vicious because the stakes are so small.
We Americans fight less among ourselves when we clearly face a common enemy or crisis. In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, for example, we showed a heartwarming level of national unity and sense of purpose for, oh, at least five or six days or so.
Like any other job, there are days when covering the White House gets old and boring. But, even for grizzled veteran reporters, there are also times when you look up and say to yourself: "This is important. We're actually watching history being made." And that's the case with Obamacare.
When it comes to health reform, Republicans suffer from delusions of disaster. They know, just know, that the Affordable Care Act is doomed to utter failure, so failure is what they see, never mind the facts on the ground.
This week, four presidents journeyed to Austin, Texas, to address the Civil Rights Summit and remark on President Lyndon B. Johnson's legacy on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
That landmark act brought an end to legal racial segregation in public places.
So they're at it again, Apple and Samsung, fighting over patents in a courtroom in San Jose, Calif. They had a similar fight in 2012, in the same courtroom, which Apple won. Samsung has also won its share of these legal battles, including in Australia.
The only reason he is alive, says Mike Yurchison, is his girlfriend, Leigh Anna Landsberger. She sits with him through endless waits at Veterans Affairs, whispering that he's smarter than she is even if his brain is damaged. She helps him through his seizures, and she nags him to overcome drug addiction.
I dropped in on my sister last week. As usual, I was amazed.
I work a single job; she works three or four. There's her paid one at an executive search firm, finding and screening candidates for corner offices in the retail industry. Then there are the others.
So the latest news is that President Vladimir Putin of Russia has threatened to turn off gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev doesn't pay its overdue bill, and, by the way, Ukraine's pipelines are the transit route for 15 percent of gas consumption for Europe. If I'm actually rooting for Putin to go ahead and shut off the gas, does that make me a bad guy?
I don't remember much about being on Stephen Colbert's show.
It all passed in a blur of fear.
I remember him coming into the makeup room to remind me that he was going to be in character as a jerk.
I remember that he held up my book about gender and asked if it was "soft-core porn."
We are at a point where we will soon have vicious ideological debates over motherhood and apple pie.
Don't laugh. If we can agree on anything across our philosophical divides, surely we can support efforts to promote voluntary service by our fellow citizens and to strengthen our nation's extraordinary network of civic and religious charities.