Political movements peter out unless they prove they can win.
Gridlock is and has been a constant and destructive force for years here in the nation’s capital, but just because the federal government is stuck doesn’t mean everyone else is. Both certain businesses and states are taking policy making into their own hands.
The Affordable Care Act’s size and scope led to some incredible flops in states such as Maryland, Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon, where websites intended to help people gain health insurance coverage failed miserably. But other states fared better: Love or hate the ACA, California implemented the complex new law better than every other state. The software worked, red tape was cut, and sign-ups, for the most part, went smoothly.
On Monday, President Obama provided more fodder to critics who contend he’s no fan of American exceptionalism. In a speech to a White House conference on working families, he lamented the fact that the United States was the one developed nation that doesn’t provide paid maternity leave.
The Roberts Court certainly seems like a conservative juggernaut. And, yes, from campaign finance to race to religion, it has moved the law dramatically to the right. But last week’s Supreme Court decision on cellphone privacy shows that this isn’t the entire story. In a number of significant areas of law, a majority of the Roberts Court will line up behind rulings that are not so much conservative as libertarian, often with a surprisingly progressive bent.
When most of us read history, it is from a distance. We were not there, nor do we know anyone who was, and unless we intend to make a study of a period not our own, we are likely to take an author’s account as generally true, with room for interpretation. But sometimes, a serious attempt is made to establish a historical narrative when it happens. The results can be disconcerting.
In the fight against extreme poverty, we face a puzzle. When the United Nations Millennium Development Goals were set in 2000, they included both health and education objectives. The health goals were pursued with vigor — and money — and great progress was achieved. Yet the pursuit of basic education languished. The U.S. government and others dropped the ball on an agenda that should have been a no-brainer.
Irving Kristol wrote that a neoconservative is a “liberal mugged by reality.” Well, I was “mugged” in New York last weekend, and I’m still a liberal.
Portugal’s soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is suffering from tendinitis in his knee, which kept him out of a recent match against Greece. And a Ghanaian traditional priest named Nana Kwaku Bonsam has claimed credit for the injury.
Apple has a new smartwatch coming in the fall, and Amazon has a new Fire smartphone coming in July. That should be good news for consumer technology fans, but the reality is that both products are “me-too” plays that should be setting off all kinds of warning bells for Silicon Valley watchers. Instead of launching truly innovative new products and opening up entirely new markets, the best and brightest companies are seemingly content to make a more conservative play for market share and rely on incremental innovations to win over customers.
Imagine this: Two defendants, same age, smoke joints with some friends one July evening in their apartments. Neither has a criminal record. Both get caught; one faces an extra two years in jail.
I recently learned that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dedicated an entire chapter of her new book, Hard Choices, to the story of how she and her staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing gave me refuge and negotiated my safe travel to the United States after I escaped from illegal house arrest. I’m grateful for her decision to allow me to take sanctuary in the embassy. But I fear that my safe arrival in the United States has given the mistaken impression, as Clinton wrote, that Chinese authorities were “scrupulous” in living up to their agreement with the United States.
Just a few years ago, this probably wouldn’t have been worth mentioning: Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, a six-term incumbent with a strong conservative record who had ceaselessly brought home the bacon for his state, defeated a Republican primary challenge from a rookie state legislator and former radio host.
Finally, after intense negotiation between the Obama administration and senators including drone-strike stalwart Rand Paul, the government released the much discussed memo justifying the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, which was written by David Barron when he was the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel. And the revelation is … nothing, or near enough to it.
The timing is, admittedly, unfortunate.
A new messaging app, called Yo, has created a sensation in Silicon Valley. It is being hailed as the next big thing.
Instead of continuing to talk about ways to reduce the number of single mothers in the United States, maybe it’s time to think of ways we can make their lives a little easier.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Barack Obama and a longtime confidant of the president, told reporters at breakfast the other day that there is an opportunity this summer for meaningful immigration reform.
By the spring of 1975, U.S. combat troops had been gone from Vietnam for two years. The country’s long involvement there had ended, the draft had been abolished, Richard Nixon had resigned and the Americans who fought there were engaged at home in an uphill battle to have their service recognized and respected, and to redeem promises of veterans care and benefits on which the nation had already started to renege.
Six years ago, Barack Obama ran for president promising to end what he described as “a dumb war” in Iraq. And in 2012, he campaigned for reelection by declaring that he’d achieved that goal. But this past week, Obama decided to send 300 troops back into the country — one deeply riven by sectarian violence and teetering on the edge of chaos.
“The Smartest Woman in the World” flunked her foreign-policy exam. Worse still, she was U.S. secretary of state. Back in the ’90s, when first lady, Hillary Clinton was widely known as “The Smartest Woman in the World.” Her husband, Bill, supposedly coined the term, but Rush Limbaugh ran with it, snarking and laughing. Soon it was a household description.
The panic that engulfed this capital after the fall of Mosul, when it appeared that the Islamist fanatics of ISIS would overrun Baghdad, has passed.
The recent cascade of Central American children crossing the Rio Grande and surrendering as fast as they can to U.S. border patrol officers — in full knowledge that they won’t immediately be sent back — has confounded our already stunted national debate on immigration. Republicans blame the onset of border-crossers on what they say is the Obama administration’s leniency toward immigrants — even though the administration has set a record for deportations. The president would like to enable undocumented immigrants who’ve been here for a while to gain legal status and, eventually, become citizens. The flood of Central American refugees has complicated the politics of legalization, however, particularly since Republicans say the mere prospect of letting immigrants remain only encourages others to come.
A recent afternoon brought a disturbing news dump from the Internal Revenue Service: A big chunk of Lois Lerner’s email has disappeared. A hard-drive crash, the agency says, permanently destroyed much of Lerner’s email in 2011, wiping out records from the previous two years.
When Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos first won the presidency of Colombia in 2010, his qualities were well known. Scion of a patrician Bogota family, holder of a diploma from the London School of Economics, he meshed smoothly with Colombia’s high and mighty. As defense minister, he helped break the chokehold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the dreaded FARC. But everyone knew Santos’ best asset was his political godfather: former president Alvaro Uribe Velez.
- Naked thieves take burgers from SW Fla eatery
- Fire sweeps through Miami-Dade classic-car dealership
- Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'
- Iraqis: Jihadis destroy ancient mosque in Mosul
- Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15
- Taiwan searches plane wreckage for clues on crash
- 18 children, 1 man die in train-bus crash in India
- FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport
- Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey could miss seven games
- Spirit over star power in Marlins Park friendly between AS Monaco and Atletico Nacional
- FIU football team is ahead of the game even before the season begins
- Final red snapper of the season ready to be snapped up
- Greg Cote: Dolphins, Canes can make Miami a football town again
- Top European clubs begin tournament with championship game at Sun Life Stadium
- Holding runner pays off late for Steve Cishek, Miami Marlins
- Outdoors notebook
- Cruise hearing explores consumer protection issues
- Slight improvement seen for hotels in June
- Study: No Trans-Pacific Partnership would be a setback for U.S., Latin America
- Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal progress report: Workforce development programs gain steam
- Miami Herald names Samuel Brown as advertising VP
- New craft beer market to open in Wynwood
- U.S. Senator holding afternoon hearing on cruise passenger protection
- Binge-watching TV: an escape zone?
- Seven-day menu planner
- Ask Nancy: My mother won’t listen to her doctors
- A cut above: Sharp knives are a home cook’s greatest tool
- Layered picnic coleslaw is a sight to behold
- Parmigiano-Reggiano earns its reign as king of cheeses
- Cheese-filled jalapeños make parties pop
- Got olives? Try tapenade at home
- Dive in to a big bowl of cold soup this summer
- Actors’ Playhouse returns to the Baby Boomer well for ‘Mid-Life 2! (The Crisis Continues)’
- Absorbing and exquisitely acted, GableStage’s ‘The Whale’ is a study in connection
- 12 years in the making, “Boyhood” depicts coming-of-age like no other film
- Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of July 20
- ‘H2OMBRE’ brings splashy spectacle and lots of water to the Arsht Center stage
- Zany underwater music festival in Florida Keys still a hit
- Life’s not easy in the islands
- Festival sets out to put a positive spin on Overtown
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