Journalists try to gather information. Protesters try to push buttons. Sam Dorman's admission that he was trying to push a button on Pelosi and provoke the response he got is all the evidence we need that he was in protest mode, not journalist mode.
The clumsiness has been a hallmark of hearings on Capitol Hill, especially now that the Republicans are in charge. Committee members are more interested in the limelight than in persuading the television audience of any abuses requiring reforms, so that viewers might support a legislative remedy.
We see politicians alienated from the electorate who are inarticulate and inelegant in their language, not only unable to create the optimum sound bite on message, but mistake prone; in short, they are remarkably unqualified to appear before the camera.
Think about it: a mere century ago, the world was a very different place. Cars were scarce, television hadn't been invented yet, and an apple was just a tasty fruit. More importantly, women couldn't vote, own property, or even open a bank account in their own name.
One cannot fight poverty and simultaneously demand that poor women bear more unwanted children. If one so adamantly opposes abortion, how can one ignore the fact that adequate contraception would prevent millions of unintended pregnancies -- and reduce abortions exponentially?
This week at a luncheon at 21, the movie's key figures, an evangelical reverend and anti-abortion activist Rob Schenck, and a remarkable grieving mother turned anti-gun activist Lucy McBride, spoke on a panel, raising the film's issue: can you be both pro-gun and pro-life?
Van Hollen also addressed his hawkish colleagues in Congress, many of whom decried the deal even before fully reading it, who have been quick to move the goalposts of the agreement to include everything Iran does that we find objectionable.
The Republican reaction to Pope Francis's climate encyclical, juxtaposed to the Democratic congressional rebellion against President Obama on trade, suggest that climate and energy are powerfully disrupting the grid-locked orthodoxy which has dominated American politics for the last decade.
Moves seem well underway in the Republican-controlled Senate to fast-track the vote on fast-tracking -- maybe as early as this coming Tuesday. That would be a pity, since the arguments for not passing the proposed trade deal continue to be worthy of long and slow consideration.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-country NAFTA-style trade deal with two serious problems. It doesn't work, and it's bad for democracy.
That is one of the most important political events of the past several years. Investor oriented globalization faces by far its most serious challenge -- now its up to those of us who have been left out of trade diplomacy to come forward with better ideas.
Hillary Clinton actually supports Barack Obama's trade-policy, and even supports the way in which he is trying to get it through Congress. However, the news-media didn't report it that way.
Republicans got the numbers they needed, with two to spare, but for a version of Fast Track that won't get enough Democratic votes to pass in the Senate.
There is absolutely no doubt that this country faces serious issues of income inequality. But killing a trade deal when it offers at least the hope of a better future for the American economy is not the way to fix those pressing problems.
Trade deals are one subject (one of the very few left) which do not break down on party line. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are split over the issue, so it's not a repeat of the usual partisan battle lines. But it is a clear defeat for Obama, who lobbied hard to very little effect.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who was a close second in a recent straw poll of Wisconsin Democrats, has called for a "political revolution" to revitalize democracy in the United States. Is Sanders ready to walk the walk?