For Americans of the Greatest Generation that fought World War II and of the Silent Generation that came of age in the 1950s, the great moral and ideological cause was the Cold War. It gave purpose and clarity to our politics and foreign policy, and our lives. From the fall of Berlin in 1945 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, that Cold War was waged by two generations, and with its end Americans faced a fundamental question: If the historic struggle between communism and freedom is over, if the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union no longer exist
Comments: Pat takes the long view and questions the entire enterprise- With a trillion dollar defense and a sixteen trillion dollar debt -"What are we doing? And why?"
This is one of those "might have been" contemplations. George W. Bush, in my opinion, invaded Iraq not just to eliminate a sadistic dictator but to set us between Israel and Iran. Iraq was a modern country with roads our tanks could travel and it is not very large. It would have been a great base. Afghanistan, on the other hand, cannot be of use. It is a very large country and it is tribal. It would be as though the Pilgrims arriving in MA had addressed the Indians, "Listen up you guys, we are going to establish a country here and we are all going to live together in peace, one country, indivisible, and you will all have a vote in how it is to be run." How would that have worked? It would not have. That's Afghanistan. Unless we live there and kill them all off as we pretty much did the tribes, it can't work there. It's over.
All that can be done now is to reestablish our power sufficiently that we can protect our own country and Israel. Then if the Iranian citizens ever rise up again, support them in changing the regime.
Half a century ago, the Beatles were really busy. After Beatlemania broke out in 1963, they played more than 1,200 shows, recorded 12 LPs and appeared in five movies. Some followed the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, or admitted to trying acid, or spurned royal honors, or claimed to be more popular than Jesus. Then, in 1970, they broke up. But that didn’t end Beatlemania. In 1976, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels appealed to the band on the air, offering them $3,000 to reunite. Not long before he was killed, John Lennon had to endure
Phil Mickelson started the day with a 20/1 chance to win the Open Championship, but a remarkable charge on the back nine at Muirfield secured fifth major championship victory. While Tiger Woods and the rest of the leaders were faltering, Mickelson birdied four of his last six holes, including the 18th, to build an insurmountable lead. His final round 66 ties the best score of any player all week long. After draining a birdie putt on the 18th hole, Mickelson walked off the green and embraced his family, making for one of the greatest photos of the summer.
Four words of advice for African Americans in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal: Wake the hell up. The Sunday after Zimmerman went free was a day of protest for many of us. From Biscayne Boulevard in Miami to Leimert Park in Los Angeles, to the Daley Center in Chicago to Times Square in New York City, African Americans — and others who believe in racial justice — carried out angry, but mostly peaceful demonstrations.Good. This is as it should have been. But if that’s the end, if you just get it out of your system
At this point in the long holiday weekend, I’m ready to kick back and discuss immigration reform. It’s a very important issue. Plus, I have found it difficult to keep a dinner party conversation going with the farm bill. Here’s one of the good things about the immigration bill that passed the Senate last week. It reminds us of how things used to work in Congress, back in the day when the two parties would get together and make big messy deals that we all complained about. Which now, of course, we miss. Come back, big messy deals! All is forgiven.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, says that House Republicans should improve and then pass the immigration bill that passed out of the Democrat-led Senate last week. “No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border,” they said. Mr. Bush and Clint Bollick, co-authors of “Immigration Wars,” said in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that GOP lawmakers would sell out basic conservative principles by opposing the bill.
Now that the Senate has passed comprehensive immigration reform, the action shifts to the House of Representatives. Here the GOP´s informal "Hastert Rule" requires Speaker John Boehner to have majority support among Republicans before he will bring legislation to the floor for a vote. That means an immigration bill will need a far greater share of Republican House members than the Senate version received (where fewer than one-third of Republicans voted "aye"). This is a tall order. But it is one to which House Republicans should respond. No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration
This is a significant moment in our public conversation on marriage. By ruling a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and choosing not to rule on the question of same-sex marriage in California, the Supreme Court essentially declared that the federal government may not set parameters for the definition of marriage but, instead, must leave that power to the states. This means that the important debate about the meaning of marriage is destined to continue. Some have framed this debate in terms of “equality.” That rings with a certain American appeal. Everyone wants to be treated
Jeb Bush will present Hillary Clinton with the 2013 Liberty Medal this September in Philadelphia. Mr. Bush is chairman of the National Constitution Center, which is honoring the former first lady for her career in public service and her advocacy efforts on behalf of women, The Hill reported.The former secretary of State is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the next presidential election. Mr. Bush has also not ruled out a presidential bid. “Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,” the former Florida governor
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday praised the Supreme Court´s ruling on same-sex marriage as a "victory for American democracy" but clashed with his African host over gay rights in a sign of how far the movement has to go internationally. Obama said recognition of gay unions in the United States should cross state lines and that equal rights should be recognized universally. It was his first chance to expand on his thoughts about the ruling, which was issued Wednesday as he flew to Senegal, one of many African countries that outlaw homosexuality.
Today’s two Supreme Court rulings involving same-sex marriage were a huge and gratifying victory in the long struggle to end government-sanctioned discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. It is sad, this deep into the national conversation about equal rights, that five justices were not willing to recognize a constitutional right for all couples to marry, regardless of the state where they live or their genders. But the momentum for marriage equality seems unstoppable and such a breakthrough will eventually come. The first ruling struck down the central provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, the odious 1996 federal law
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is tuning out the "chirpers" in the Republican Party -- the critics on his right who disagree with his push for a comprehensive immigration bill. If Bush decides on a 2016 White House bid, the son and brother of two presidents said in an interview this weekend that it will be a campaign based on his two terms as governor. "It will be based on what I believe and it will be based on my record," Bush told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
ROME — For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in Rome: That some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are gay. But the whispers were amplified this week when Pope Francis himself, in a private audience, appears to have acknowledged what he called a “gay lobby” operating inside the Vatican, vying for power and influence. The remarks — which the Vatican spokesman did not deny and the participants at the private audience confirmed — appeared to be part of an effort by the pope to take on the entrenched interests in the Vatican
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy
The United States will temporarily shut down its embassies and consulates around the world Sunday, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, as a precautionary measure, the State Department said Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed -- only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Sunday is a normal workday in many Arab and Middle Eastern countries. Embassies in Europe and Latin America would be shuttered that day anyway.
Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze gave some ambiguous and potentially dangerous self defense advice Friday on “Hardball.” Glaze, speaking in opposition to “Stand Your Ground” laws, said in a circumstance where someone “comes at you” with an axe handle one should attempt to either “talk,” “fight with your fists,” “run away,” or “deescalate the situation,” but not shoot the attacker: MARK GLAZE: Very often somebody will come at you. They might want to have a fistfight. They might come at you with an ax handle. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
Citing a potential al Qaeda attack, the State Department on Friday issued a worldwide travel alert and warned American citizens that the terrorist group may be plotting a strike in the Middle East, North Africa or elsewhere. “Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” reads a portion of the alert, which lasts until the end of the month.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I going to do in four months? I hope something changes.” The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25
The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare. The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a "full-time equivalent." Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape
Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city´s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. "Luckily, we´ve got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For ´citizens,´ how about ´residents?´"
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
The nation´s most active death penalty state is running out of its execution drug. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that its remaining supply of phenobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found. It wasn´t immediately clear whether two executions scheduled for next month would be delayed. The state has already executed 11 death-row inmates this year, and at least seven more have execution dates in coming months. "We will be unable to use our current supply of phenobarbital after it expires," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."
Congressional investigators this week released emails suggesting that staff at the Federal Election Commission have been engaged in their own conservative targeting, with help from the IRS´s infamous Lois Lerner. This means more than just an expansion of the probe to the FEC. It´s a new link to the Obama team. In May this column noted that the targeting of conservatives started in 2008, when liberals began a coordinated campaign of siccing the federal government on political opponents. The Obama campaign helped pioneer this tactic. In late summer of 2008, Obama lawyer Bob Bauer took
After purchasing the Boston Globe in 1993 for a then-record $1.1 billion, the financially troubled New York Times just announced it sold the 141 year-old paper to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry for a mere $70 million. That´s a straight 93% loss. Figuring in two decades of inflation would only make it worse -- as does the fact the Times retains the Globe´s pension liabilities, estimated at over $100 million. (snip) What might have sweetened the lower offer for the Times is that Henry offered a straight cash deal, which is expected to close sometime in September or October.