Much has been made of the Supreme Court slapping down the Obama administration unanimously Thursday – twice. It ruled that the administration acted unconstitutionally by making recess appointments when Congress had not said it was in recess. And it unanimously ruled that a Massachusetts law regulating anti-abortion protesters was unconstitutional. The administration had urged that it be upheld.
A nightmare for Affordable Care Act supporters has been the possibility that only the sick would be left to purchase insurance through its exchanges, driving premiums up and insurers out. While the law’s boosters have been quick to dismiss the possibility that such a so-called death spiral could occur, data published in the Wall Street Journal suggest that this chain of events may not be so far-fetched after all.
But I have promises to keep
We are experiencing the consequences of a long decline in citizenship – one that has afflicted politics with incivility, intolerance, excessive partisanship and grid-lock. This has cascaded to cynicism, as Americans withdraw from a political system from which they have disconnected.
H. Edward Flentje misrepresented Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts and their alleged effect on property taxes, as well as the governor’s commitment to funding our state obligations (“Tax shift harms rural Kansas,” June 22 Opinion).
For the past few centuries, the Western world has witnessed a contest of historic visions. On the one side was the dream of the beautiful collective. Human progress was a one-way march toward socialism. People would liberate themselves from religion, hierarchy and oppression. They would build a new kind of society where equality would be the rule, where rational planning would replace cruel competition.
Forty years ago this weekend, my father died of a heart attack at the age of 52. I was 12, so as time goes by I remember less and less about him. But one vivid memory is of him always coming to my baseball games. And so when I had children, I promised myself that I would do the same – not just to be in the stands cheering for them, but on the sidelines coaching them.
The Supreme Court this week admonished the Environmental Protection Agency for overreaching in regulating greenhouse gases. The Clean Air Act covers polluters that emit 250 tons per year (or in some cases, 100 tons). This standard makes no sense if applied to greenhouse gases. Thousands of establishments from elementary schools to grocery stores would be, absurdly, covered. So the EPA arbitrarily chose 100,000 tons as the carbon dioxide threshold.
One year ago this month, Americans learned that their government was engaged in secret dragnet surveillance, which contradicted years of assurances to the contrary from senior government officials and intelligence leaders.
Anyone who has ever kicked a trash can across a room after trying to get the Internal Revenue Service to explain a tax rule, or been through one of its exfoliating audits, gained a champion in Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., last week. At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing investigating how the IRS lost thousands of e-mails sought by congressional investigators, the Wisconsin congressman lost it. He emptied his frustration and anger over IRS Commissioner John Koskinen like he was flushing a radiator.
On Monday morning, at a White House summit on policies to help working families, Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his wealth. He said that while he wore a “mildly expensive suit” and was vice president of the United States of America, he didn’t own a stock or a bond, and as a senator was the poorest member of the club.
When President Obama went on TV last week to outline his response to terrorist advances in Iraq, he missed a chance to do something essential: convey how serious the threat is to the Mideast – and to us.
It is a line I have used to open speeches on the lecture circuit for years and it never fails to get a laugh: “I’m happy to be here tonight from Washington, D.C., where the only politicians with convictions are in prison.”
As Iraq ruptures into fragments, none other than Dick Cheney has shambled forth to blame Barack Obama.
Something important happened in Wichita on June 11 that may have escaped the attention of many. A group of physicians, nurses, operating room technicians and officials from all local hospitals and surgical facilities came together to announce their commitment to making Wichita the safest place to have surgery.
We are farmers who raise different types of crops in different regions of our country. Like all farmers, we have lived through difficult periods when bad weather, low prices or weak demand had us doubting we would survive. Whether organic or conventional producers, we all seek the same result – a good harvest and robust markets for our crops.
The governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are very loudly blaming the “sectarian and exclusionary policies” of Nouri al-Maliki for the violence in Iraq. They’re not wrong, but this also deflects from an issue they’d rather not discuss – the role of wealthy funders in the Gulf in helping the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria rise to prominence.
As we consider the fall of Mosul, Iraq, to terrorists and the threat they pose to Baghdad, we must concede: We had been warned.
The signs were all there.
Property taxes are on track to increase by more than $400 million statewide during Gov. Sam Brownbacks term in office.
Just how terrifying is the Sunni Muslim extremist group that has taken over a huge swath of territory in northern Iraq? Here are some clues:
President Obama said al-Qaida was on the path to defeat. Osama bin Laden may have been dead, but the presidents words were empty. The war certainly wasnt over for the people actually fighting it the Sunnis and the Shia slaughtering each other, as they have done off and on for centuries.
Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.
In case you thought there couldn’t possibly be another General Motors recall so soon, you’re just not thinking big enough. This week, GM said it was recalling 3.36 million more cars. The cause: an ignition switch defect that could result in keys carrying extra weight (read: a key chain) to slip out of position and shut the vehicle off abruptly during “some jarring event.”