Depending on who you ask, war is either too important to be left to Generals or Politicians. In matter of fact, there is little distinction between the two save that, as General McChrystal learned yesterday, one can fire the other. Barack Obama’s dismissal of General McChrystal from the Afghan war effort has been addressed as many things by the media: a case of injured pride, military discipline, even blatant partisanship. It could well be any or all of these things but below all of that, the conflict between General McChrystal and President Obama comes down to a singular word: priorities. continue »
President Obama’s speech to the nation last night has been roundly panned in the media with everyone from Keith Olbermann to Sarah Palin dismissing it as signifying little but sound and fury. Americans are upset about the 40,000 – 60,000 barrels of oil that are, daily, gushing forth into the gulf of Mexico. With each passing hour, it seems, the leak itself grows worse and the spill grows more severe.
Obama has been lambasted for his failure to take control of the crisis, for his failure to involve international assistance, and for his failure to – quite simply – stop the leak.
And there can be no contest; Barack Obama has failed to do all of those things.
Yet, perhaps the question Americans should be asking is, did we really want or expect him to? continue »
The folks over at Gallup have a new poll out this morning that indicates that the percentage of Americans who think of the Democratic Party as “too liberal” is within a percentage point of an the statistic’s all time high.
In the past two years, Americans have become increasingly likely to describe the Democratic Party’s views as “too liberal” (49%), and less likely to say its views are “about right” (38%). Americans’ views of the Republican Party, on the other hand, have moderated slightly, with a dip in the percentage saying the GOP is too conservative from 43% last year to 40% today, and an increase in the percentage saying it is about right, from 34% to 41%. continue »
Fifty years of Presidential coverage came to an end today as Helen Thomas stepped down from her position at Hearst, the second in her long and storied career as a White House correspondent. Her retirement announcement comes on the heels of controversial comments she made during what The Hill describes as “a White House event on May 27 celebrating Jewish heritage.”
Thomas (in)famously opined that Israeli Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.” continue »
Back when Arizona passed it’s “Papers Please” anti-illegal-immigrant law a lot of writers, myself included, were fairly judgmental of the whole thing. We saw it – and indeed still see it – as a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize being brown in the great state of Arizona. Sure, you weren’t actually guilty of something unless you were actually in the country illegally, but the simple way in which the law was written encourages police to question and detain anyone who looks like they might be an illegal immigrant and in Arizona that pretty much means Latinos.
Arizonians were pretty upset by this sort of judgment and a lot of folks from that particular part of the country told me as much. I was accused of passing judgment upon people, governments, and policies in which I have no meaningful investment. I owed them, they claimed, the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe I did; maybe I didn’t; but I certainly don’t now. continue »