This week, a world facing crises on many fronts rang in Christmas. Though this is traditionally a season of good cheer, in his holiday address at the Vatican, Pope Francis showed it could also be a time of sober reflection. The often good-humored pontiff delivered a somber message of concern for abused children, refugees, and victims of violence and war. The speech was similar in tone to his annual message to the cardinals, bishops, and priests who run the Vatican, delivered earlier in the week, in which the Pope decried 15 "ailments of the Curia." These included "careerism and opportunism," "social exhibitionism," and "spiritual Alzheimer's," seen in those who "become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands." His words stand as a worthy challenge to us all to combat indifference and tap into the better angels of our nature -- no matter what religious tradition you may follow (including none at all).
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...
Not only did Hoover have the political power to smear as "subversive" anyone who expressed a remotely leftist or European Socialist point of view, he compiled secret dossiers on hundreds of influential Americans. Hoover was a true "Untouchable."
As 2014 closes, I want to take a moment to look back at what We the People accomplished in health policy and health justice this year. By celebrating these accomplishments, I hope our community of activists can find inspiration to keep up the hard work that waits for us in 2015.
Don't look now, but President Barack Obama has been inching up in the polls, tying Reagan for this juncture in his presidency. Several polls have him inching up to nearly 50 percent approval rating after a rough 2014.
Apparently it wasn't Napoleon who said an army travels on its stomach. But surely the necessity of providing appropriate gear, food, water and other basics to troops was clear after his troops, freezing and dropping from starvation, staggered in retreat after the disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia. Of the 680,000 men Bonaparte took with him, fewer than 100,000 returned. Perhaps nothing that dramatic is about to happen in Afghanistan. But the warning signs of impending trouble are clear: the $57 billion U.S. investment in Afghanistan's security forces is at risk because the Afghans cannot supply, or resupply their troops, can't prevent their weapons and vehicles from breaking down and can't fix them when they do.
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma,
World War II,
Japan Self Defense Force,
The U.S. is over-burdened militarily and effectively bankrupt financially, but Washington is determined to preserve every base and deployment, no matter how archaic -- such as the many military facilities in Okinawa.
15 Minutes Of Fame,
Best Government Dollar Spent,
Best Political Theater,
Biggest Government Waste,
Boldest Political Tactic,
CIA Spying Dianne Feinstein,
Destined For Political Oblivion,
Destined For Political Stardom,
Feinstein Torture Report,
Most Honest Person,
Most Overreported Story,
Most Underreported Story,
Sorry To See You Go,
Worst Political Scandal,
Worst Political Theater,
Between Two Ferns,
Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,
Marijuana Medical Research,
Meet The Press,
Militarization Of Police,
Police Body Cameras,
War On Drugs,
War On Weed,
Year End Awards,
The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.
Is it true that companies trying to manufacture in America, workers, communities and environmentalists need the President to explain their interests to them, as if 25 years of lived experience with NAFTA-style trade deals haven't been sufficiently clear?
All Men Are Created Equal,
Crash Of 1929,
Justin M. Rao,
Letter To The One Percent,
Paul K. Piff,
No one is arguing for complete equality of income. Not even close. We celebrate the success of the One Percent, and rightly so. All we ask, especially in this time of giving, is for the compassion, the humility, the shared experience that existed only a few decades ago.
The possibilities for a comedy about the life of Kim without including a fictitious assassination are endless. The imaginations of Messrs. Rogen and Goldberg were not. A pity that.
In a political stunt of a lawsuit, Texas and other states claim the White House's immigration initiatives announced on Nov. 20, 2014 are illegal. The problem is that the suit has no legs, because the plaintiffs lack "standing" to sue.
One of the most important results was a setback for the Muslim Brotherhood, who lost an important political and propaganda outlet following the closure of Al-Jazeera Mubasher, which broadcasted out of Qatar. These two developments have multiple implications for the form of the regional map in the coming year.
Committee In Solidarity With The People Of Syria,
Friends For a Nonviolent World,
Gay Girl In Damascus,
National Coalition Of Syrian Revolutionary Forces,
"War is peace" double-speak has become commonplace these days. And, the more astute foreign policy journalists and commentators are beginning to realize the extent of how "liberal interventionists" work in sync with neocon warhawks to produce and sustain a perpetual state of U.S. war.
You may wonder how a second-term Congressman, in the minority party, who does not sit on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, managed to get nine different tax breaks passed in a single year. Good question. I'll answer that next time.
In honor of Christmas Eve, and the recent CRomnibus spending bill, a parody of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ...
"You" and "me" became "we" in service to our shared needs. But when other groups showed up, "we" became "us," a tribe opposed to "them." Violence and destruction too often followed, and we still search for a shared morality that works across tribes.
It is the time of year to think about the Christmas story, even if the main characters are a bit on the radical side. It is good to remember as we fight the battles of today that common-sense and basic justice have always sounded a little radical, especially to those in power.
It's A Wonderful Life,
The Hollywood Christmas classic was once accused of hiding a subversive Communist message. A number of years ago, I was telling a longtime city dweller friend of mine yet another story about the small, upstate New York town in which I grew up.
It was an up and down year for higher education, as each of these matters took a turn atop the 24-hour news cycle. While I am not particularly nostalgic, I'd like to review some of the highlights -- and lowlights -- of 2014...