Tuesday September 23, 2014
September 11th, 2014
Nico Rodriguez was 15 years old when he found himself living on the streets of Lowell, Mass., with no plans for a high school diploma, no home to call his own and, seemingly, no future. Rodriguez was a statistic: one of the 20 percent of students who do not finish high school on time, if ever.
We seem to be drifting inexorably toward escalating our fight with the Islamic State, which is also known by the acronym ISIS, as the Obama administration mulls whether to extend its "limited" bombing campaign into Syria.
The missing component in the machinery of American politics has been moderate-to-liberal Republicanism, and the gears of government are grinding very loudly. You wonder if Kansas and Alaska have come up with a solution to this problem.
In Kansas, Democrat Chad Taylor shook up the Senate race by dropping out last week, giving an independent candidate, Greg Orman, a clean shot at the incumbent, Pat Roberts.
With folks yapping all day on social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the rest -- how can there be such a thing as a "spiral of silence" online?
Easy. Just make the experience of online political debate so disjointed, impersonal and unpleasant that people shut themselves up. Or they hide out in groupings where everyone says much the same thing. In that case, what they're doing is cheerleading, not debating.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch -- as foreign events hog the spotlight -- why haven't Republicans sealed the deal on the coming election?
It’s Labor Day weekend, the schools have been in session about a week, and the disgruntled voices of a minority drone on. Their screeching refrain, often in letters to the editor and talk show call-ins, is familiar:
--Teachers only work half a year.
--Teachers are overpaid.
Who knew that one of the best made-for-Labor Day speeches in American history would be delivered by a CEO? And who could have guessed that the summer's major labor story would not be about a CEO saving the jobs of his workers but about the workers saving the job of their CEO?
Faced with a renewed Islamic terrorist threat in the Middle East as Russia raises the stakes for war in Ukraine, President Obama finds himself still trying to hold the line on the use of U.S. military manpower.
After Russia annexed Crimea, the president was quick to tell the American people that there was "no military solution" to that power grab. He has said the same about the subsequent incursions into eastern Ukraine.
It's not hard to figure out why the Rev. Al Sharpton, of all people, receives a strange new respect in President Obama's White House. Every president needs a good "anger translator."
Fans of Comedy Central's "Key and Peele" show know what I am talking about: the combative character that show hosts Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele call "Luther, the president's anger translator."
Many white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.
Bill O'Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: "All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money."