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Bennet Kelley
Bennet Kelley is an award-winning political columnist, host of Cyber Law and Business Report on and a practicing internet lawyer at the Internet Law Center in Santa Monica.

Entries by Bennet Kelley

Celebrating Jane Jacobs' Centennial

(1) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 5:36 AM

Post-World War America was defined by an auto and housing boom that fueled the suburbanization of America. New development and freeways were "in" and historic buildings and blighted neighborhoods were bulldozed to make way for them. Communities were "redeveloped" without community input and often left with soulless structures divorced from...

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Trump and the Art of the Constitution

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 8:55 PM

Donald Trump has run a campaign on "Making America Great Again," a campaign which begs the question "what makes America great," and "what does it mean to be an American?" Sometimes Americans lose sight of this, and it is useful to see why others admire America.

U2's Bono recently exclaimed...

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Hillary Clinton - A Democratic Trailblazer for President

(30) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 1:26 PM

I first met Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire immediately after the last debate before the 1992 primary. I remember listening to her as she spoke to a circle of mostly young women captivated by this new political trailblazer. Nearly two generations later, she is no longer the fresh face of...

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GOP Contenders and Mexico: Amateur Hour at the Rio Grande

(25) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 12:34 AM

Diplomacy is a craft that requires knowledge of both historical forces that define our relationships with other nations and an understanding of the dynamic forces impacting a nation in the present. A diplomat's worldview cannot be tied to the past when we live in a world where major nations from...

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DNC Must Heed Warning Bells From 2000

(291) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 8:03 AM

Fifteen years ago, the Democrats' heir apparent sought to succeed a termed out president, but was faced with a challenge on the left from a popular senator and persistent net negative approval ratings. Sound familiar? Despite the many similarities between the current race and 2000, it seems neither side has...

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GOP Form Letter to Victims of Mass Shootings

(27) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 7:09 PM

Dear Distraught Citizens of [blank],

I was deeply saddened to learn of the mass shooting in your fine community. I want you to know that the victims, their families, the brave first responders and, indeed, your entire community are in my thoughts and prayers after this senseless shooting at your...

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Bringing an End to the Lottery of Gun Violence in the US

(11) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 1:17 PM

In the classic American short story "The Lottery," readers recoil with horror that a society would accept an annual ritual in which one of their members must be stoned. We sympathize with the victim as she pleads, "It isn't fair, it isn't right."

Yet isn't that what we do...

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The Carter Presidency Revisited

(153) Comments | Posted August 22, 2015 | 6:21 PM

2015-08-22-1440280568-2154284-cartercombo.JPG From the moment he left office in 1981, Republicans from President Reagan to Mitt Romney have embraced Jimmy Carter as the poster child for Democratic failure. Since Democrats raced to distance themselves from Carter with almost as much vigor as Republican embraced...

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10 Reasons You Should Care About D.C. Voting Rights

(9) Comments | Posted July 4, 2015 | 7:22 PM

For the last several years, I have marked Independence Day by making note of the fact that taxation without representation is alive and well in Washington, D.C. today.

As a former District of Columbia resident who is now living fully represented in California, I am surprised by...

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FIFA Sponsors Must Act Now to Save the Game

(5) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 3:31 PM

The Justice Department's announcement of a landmark racketeering indictment of nine Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officials as part of a "24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer" that involved "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption, was met with the obligatory statement of cooperation from FIFA...

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Five Lessons From Vietnam

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 7:33 AM

A decade after the fall of Saigon, President Nixon wrote, "[n]o event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War." A generation and a half later, this remains true. Yet what lessons should we draw from our nation's first major defeat?

Consider the following:

1. Vietnam Sought Liberation...

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A Century of Genocide and Indifference

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 8:45 PM

Growing up in post-World War II America, you felt proud of the country's role in the greatest battle of good versus evil the planet has seen. Never had evil been so capably personified as it had been in the case of Nazi Germany. As I grew up, I was taught...

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The DC Marijuana Battle: It's About More Than Weed

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 8:36 PM

The battle between Congress and the District of Columbia over its new voter approved marijuana legalization initiative may seem esoteric at first blush. That is because the current debate centers on when the District law was deemed enacted in order to determine whether it has violated a Congressional restriction on...

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The Unbearable Rudeness of Bibi

(767) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 7:11 PM

With the front page of the paper being occupied by so-called Deflate-gate, Congress was quick to reclaim its rightful place with its own mini-tempest over House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu to speak before a Joint Meeting of Congress without prior notice to and/or approval...

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Beyond Selma - Writing the Next Chapter in American Civil Rights History

(9) Comments | Posted January 1, 2015 | 9:28 AM

In November 2012, I worked with the Obama campaign's anti-voter suppression efforts in Florida. I was shocked when I saw that voters in largely Hispanic and African-American areas were forced to wait hours and hours to vote by design. The state had cut early voting from 14 to 6 days...

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Liberal Giant Henry Waxman Retires After 40-Years in Congress

(3) Comments | Posted December 27, 2014 | 6:36 PM

My introduction to Henry Waxman came in 1980 watching the film HR 6161: An Act of Congress in my political science class at American University. The story was about the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 where a second-term Rep. Waxman and others took on the true...

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America's Day of Shame and Redemption

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 5:58 AM

Throughout the Obama administration, the President has focused on moving forward and not dwelling on the actions of his predecessor. As Faulkner reminds us, however, the past never dies and has a strange capacity for calling our attention as was the case this week with the Senate Intelligence Committee's release...

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Tankman, the GOP and Voting Rights

(3) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 7:06 PM

One of the most evocative images of the 20th century was the image of a single man standing in front of a column of tanks as part of the pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The picture resonates because, as Thomas Jefferson wrote two centuries earlier, we are...

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Tiny Iowa County Takes on the King of Online Defamation

(18) Comments | Posted July 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

In Gunfight at the OK Corral, a U.S. Marshal from the prairie is called to Arizona to help his brother stand his ground against a band of cattle thieves. The character is an American archetype that is alive and well in the last untamed frontier -- the Internet.

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Johnson, Reagan and the Great American Paradox

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Name the hawkish former president that liberals love to hate who cut taxes shortly after taking office, presided over a booming economy with low unemployment, reduced the national debt and whose legacy shapes much of today's debate.

If you said Ronald Reagan, guess again. In fact, far from reducing the...

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