WASHINGTON — First there’s the spark, then the conflagration, followed by the litigation and then, surely, the movie.
The trillion-dollar spending bill that the House of Representatives passed recently had something for everyone to hate. But it was still a step, however awkward, toward making the United States governable again.
Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were “torture.”
At this point, we all know the true meaning of Christmas. That kid from Peanuts — the one with the blanket — gives us a lecture every year when we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. And we see the Grinch’s preposterous decision to not make off with an entire town’s gifts — a move that likely would’ve netted him millions in today’s Who dollars — and are reminded that maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.
Recently, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement.
Did you know that Democrats drink more than Republicans? Or that they are likelier to choose clear liquors, whereas Republicans tend toward the darker ones? That voters who skew most Republican favor Jim Beam? That those who skew most Democratic go for Seagram’s gin?
Anyone skeptical about entrusting ambitious tasks to the government was not stunned by the dismal rollout of the Affordable Care Act. It featured technical glitches, cost overruns and false advertising (“If you like your plan, you’ll be able to keep it.”). Things got so bad that President Barack Obama apologized and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned.
They have not stopped. That’s one of the most heartening things about the demonstrations against police brutality that began with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August and renewed with a grand jury’s recent decision not to indict a New York police officer who choked Eric Garner to death.
At a time when Ferguson, Missouri, has been under siege, the president unilaterally brought millions of illegal immigrants “out of the shadows,” the so-called Islamic State beheaded another American, an architect of Obamacare admitted the law was conceived and birthed in deception, and the secretary of defense was unceremoniously dumped, it’s no wonder that a recent speech by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., didn’t get the coverage it deserved.
Big city mayors have to stay as neutral as possible when asked about disputes between their citizens and the police. But New York Mayor Bill de Blasio found his voice in a profoundly moving way when he responded not as a mayor, but as a parent.
When the militants of Islamic State swept across Iraq last June, they numbered no more than 12,000 and they faced a U.S.-trained, U.S.-equipped Iraqi army that boasted some 200,000 troops. And yet it was the Iraqi army that collapsed.
WASHINGTON — It is probably too soon to declare a feminist reformation, but a few signs here and there give one hope.
Jackie’s shocking account of gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house has been growing holes by the day.
This year, Christmas shopping may be an especially welcome respite from the ugly events going on across the country, as mobs take to the streets because grand juries that examined evidence reached different conclusions from those reached by mobs who made up their minds without examining that evidence.
President Barack Obama is a champion of using video cameras to prevent and expose misconduct by uniformed people with guns.
So what does “cruel and unusual” mean? I once asked that of a law professor. The Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment, but I figured there had to be some technical definition I, as a layperson, was missing.
President Barack Obama said just before the recent Ferguson, Missouri, riots, “First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.”
The grand jury system — indeed, the criminal jury system overall — is not perfect. And while I think the grand jury in Ferguson got it right by not indicting Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, based on the physical evidence and credible testimony from actual witnesses, the outcome of a recent grand jury in New York City in the death of Eric Garner is another matter.
Mass protests have blocked highways, overtaken town squares and disrupted government buildings. Protesters are in their third unrelenting month of marching and organizing, demanding answers for the brutal deaths of the young men.
Reasonable people can disagree on whether racism was involved in the tragic death of Eric Garner. My own suspicion is that this misfortune could have transpired just as easily with a white man resisting arrest and/or a black cop choking him.
President Obama’s plan to bypass Congress in shielding millions of immigrants from deportation is not the best way to do immigration reform. But if confrontation is what it takes to get House Republicans off their rear ends and deal with the problem, so be it.
What follows is for the benefit of one William James O’Reilly Jr. “Bill” to his fans. Last summer, Mr. O’Reilly, a pundit for Fox News, spent time talking about white privilege and his contention that no such thing exists.
If you’re a foreigner in this country without authorization, you may be a hardworking, upright and taxpaying person, but you live in daily terror of making a fatal misstep.
When asked about recent allegations against Bill Cosby, Chris Rock fell into what is for him an unusual position. He was at a loss for words.
The day after it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the slaying of Michael Brown, the president for a second time called for calm. His statement was measured, careful and responsible.
When President Barack Obama announced his decision to allow roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, Democrats and Republicans in Washington disagreed furiously about the move. No surprise there.
Few truly appreciate the enormous economic benefits the Affordable Care Act will deliver to the American people over time, the middle class included. But you’d expect New York’s seasoned Democratic senator, Charles Schumer, to “get it” rather than belittle the 2010 federal health care law as a political inconvenience for his party.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri. But, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, “You’re entitled to your own opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”
OK, fine. Let’s talk about “black on black” crime. That, after all, is where the conversation seems to inevitably turn whenever one seeks to engage a conservative on the American habit of shooting unarmed African-American boys and men.
In the medical profession, there is the admonition primum non nocere, the Latin expression for “first, do no harm.” In order not to do harm, at the minimum, requires accurate diagnostics.
When my fellow critics of Ferguson, Missouri, police are reduced to arguing not whether but how hard Michael Brown hit police officer Darren Wilson, I think it is time to rethink what this scandal is all about or, more pointedly, what it should be about.
On Thursday, hundreds of millions of Americans risked obesity, heart disease and indigestion by eating large quantities of food with no precise knowledge of the caloric content. If many of them felt regret on Friday, it was not because they were duped into overeating by the absence of nutritional data.
Maybe President Obama is just trolling? For those who don’t know, in Internet parlance, trolling is an effort to elicit outrage from a specific group or the public generally.
In covering the violence engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, media routinely cite the following numbers to explain the frustration of the minority community there: Ferguson’s population is two-thirds African-American, yet the mayor, five of the six City Council members and nearly the entire police force are white.
We’re three months into our newest war, the one against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and nobody’s happy with how it’s going.
WASHINGTON — By now, most Americans probably have formed an opinion about what comedian Bill Cosby did or didn’t do sexually to or with at least 16 women beginning in the 1960s.
In September, I received an email that should have left me feeling vindicated. It was in response to the nonfatal shooting of Levar Jones, an unarmed African-American man, by Sean Groubert, a white South Carolina state trooper.
Jonathan Gruber’s several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got Obamacare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration.
Black anger that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson was not charged for killing Michael Brown stems partly from the fact that blacks in America often face much worse treatment from cops than whites do. Only rarely do whites get an unpleasant taste of what minorities have to swallow.
Republican fury over President Barack Obama’s drastic executive action on immigration distracts from the most obvious solution: the sensible compromise that senators from both parties passed more than 500 days ago, only to have it bottled up by Speaker John Boehner in the House.
Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans. In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”
‘‘Smiles at the gas pump,” my local headline reads. The price of gasoline has fallen below $3 a gallon. When the national average rose last year to $3.51, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, complained that “the liberal anti-free market policies of the Obama administration discourage the exploration of American sources of energy and hinder production and job growth.”