WASHINGTON – Rand Paul was right. There, I said it.
I hate the sequester, beginning with its name. “Sequester” is a verb, not a noun. This ridiculous exercise is not just unwise and unproductive, but ungrammatical as well.
Most of our top elected officials probably didn’t notice – they were too busy making fools of themselves over an idiotic budget “crisis” of their own manufacture – but something worth remembering happened in Washington, D.C., this week: A grieving parent pleaded softly for a ban on military-style weapons like the one used to kill his son.
The test of President Barack Obama’s seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It’s whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants – one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions – to the ashcan of history.
The standoff over the package of budget cuts known as “the sequester” is the dumbest, most self-defeating fight between President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress since ... let’s see, since the last dumb, self-defeating fight less than two months ago.
Republicans spent last weekend trumpeting shock and outrage over President Barack Obama’s leaked “backup plan” on immigration. In dysfunctional Washington, this means that prospects for comprehensive reform – including what amounts to an amnesty for the undocumented – are getting brighter.
If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute an American citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I’d have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What’s wrong is wrong.
It was always clear that the 11 million people in this country without papers were not going to be rounded up and deported. The question was when our leaders would officially recognize this fact – which could only happen if Republicans decided that demonizing illegal immigrants was bad politics.
Republicans wanted nothing more than to summon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Capitol Hill and grill her about the tragic fiasco in Benghazi. Sadly for them, they got their wish.
President Barack Hussein Obama’s second inauguration was every bit as historic as his first – not because it said so much about the nation’s long, bitter, unfinished struggle with issues of race, as was the case four years ago, but because it said so little about the subject.
Don’t listen to those who say President Barack Obama’s bold plan to reduce gun violence – including an assault weapons ban – has no chance in Congress. I seem to recall that health care reform was deemed impossible, too. Until it happened.
President Barack Obama is set to begin his second term at a moment when the question is not what great things our nation can achieve but whether our government, in Obama’s words, can “stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis.”
All right, now can we talk about climate change? After a year when the lower 48 states suffered the warmest temperatures, and the second-craziest weather, since record-keeping began?
To say that Congress looked like a clown show this week is an insult to self-respecting clowns.
Guns do kill people. Our national New Year’s resolution must be to stop the madness.
News Tribune Editorial Writers
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Community Columnists · 2013
Community Columnists · 2012
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