Wednesday December 11, 2013
July 5th, 2013
I have no problem with the news sites recommending stories to me, or the shopping sites figuring I'm good for another look at those size-41 shoes. I have no problem with someone using my supposedly "private" information to sell me more and target me for whatever they know I'm interested in. But I have to draw the line.
And isn't the right place to draw the line with the guys who want to use that information to fight terrorism and save our lives?
Only 10 percent of Americans now have confidence in Congress, Gallup informs us. No other major American institution has ever had an approval rating this low.
But public confidence in Congress would probably sink even lower if average Americans knew more about what our lawmakers are actually doing. The latest case in point: the steady progress of H.R. 1135, the “Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act.”
If the Barack Obama Story were to be made into a movie these days, it's certain that a John Wayne type would not be cast in the leading role.
There's little in our current president that smacks of intimidating true grit. That at least is the critical assessment in some quarters in light of his disinclination to mount up and lead the charge for a roundup of Edward Snowden, the on-the-lam leaker of National Security Agency secrets.
Sometimes it appears that everybody in Washington yearns for an action-hero president to make them feel important. That's never more apparent than during a crisis like the Syrian civil war President Obama stands accused of "dithering" about.
What’s simply delicious, even if it’s genetically engineered? Irony.
For years, advocates of growing crops with genes from other species spliced into their DNA have claimed that this newfangled farming increases crop yields, reduces pesticide use, and provides a host of other benefits.
Profound political change never happens overnight. The epic struggles for civil rights, voting rights, women's suffrage and workers' rights all took decades to achieve success and, at many levels, are still going on. But no political movement has ever sped to victory as fast as the fight for marriage equality, capped this week by the Supreme Court's historic decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.
On first blush we progressives won some impressive victories this past week but the "never say dead" folks are still at it. We dare not relax.
The end of another momentous Supreme Court term compels the question: Is the accusation of judicial activism just another way of saying "decisions I don't agree with"?
Consider the court's blockbuster finale. A majority composed of the conservative justices overturned a key section of the Voting Rights Act, triggering complaints from the liberal minority that the court was improperly substituting its judgment for that of Congress.
The filibuster is at the core of the U.S. senate.
It’s also why nothing of much significance has been done the past decade.
Under Senate rules, senators can filibuster any legislation. They can just stand up and start talking. They can talk about anything they wish. They can read from telephone books, or even take bathroom breaks. They can also yield the floor to like-minded senators.