Saturday October 10, 2015
January 14th, 2015
This will be no ordinary Congress, so there are no ordinary ways for judging how effective it will be at governing.
That is, in any event, a preposterous standard to hold up as a brand spanking new goal. Isn't governing what Congress was supposed to be doing all along? Imagine an everyday citizen making a New Year's resolution promising that this year, for a change, he or she would actually show up for work.
Suddenly, satire is the great issue of our time.
Last month, North Korea's Stalinist dictatorship launched a cyberattack, accompanied by threats of physical violence, against the makers and distributors of a silly film that dared to violate the cult of personality surrounding Kim Jong Un, according to the FBI. Pyongyang's alleged hack succeeded, at least temporarily, in blocking the movie's release.
The most touching moment of bipartisanship on the opening day of Congress came not on Capitol Hill but 100 miles away in Richmond, Virginia, at former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's sentencing hearing on his multiple-count public corruption conviction.
Friends of Obamacare, horrified that the Supreme Court has taken a case that could blow up the federal health insurance exchanges, should recalibrate their dread. While the health reforms were safely humming along, there was little political price for demanding their demise. Thanks to the Supreme Court, now there is.
Two years of prison time. That was the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge James Spencer to former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell for selling an office once occupied by Thomas Jefferson.
It was far less than prosecutors were seeking, but far more than McDonnell's defense attorneys wanted.
"As a Democrat, you must be so depressed starting off this new year with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress." With those words, legendary San Francisco talk show host Ronn Owens greeted me when I sat down for an interview this week during his annual visit to Washington.
Two different states, two different parties, two different political clowns.
We'll get to the Republican clown in Maryland - Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter - in a minute. Let's start with the Democratic clown in Virginia: Del. Joseph Morrissey.
An old friend, Tony Barber at the Financial Times, has triggered outrage for a blog post he wrote yesterday. He questioned the "foolish" editorial judgment of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine struck by a terrorist attack in which 12 people were killed.
That Idaho mother shot to death by her 2-year-old son in a Walmart store? Judging by Veronica Jean Rutledge's biography, you can be just about certain that she'd driven to the store wearing a seat belt, with her little boy buckled carefully into his car seat.
As the uproar died down over the Hollywood comedy that depicted the fictitious assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, another movie came under fire for taking liberties with the truth. The film in question, "Selma," seemed to some critics to characterize the late President Lyndon B. Johnson as a reluctant dragon against civil rights.