One of the defining characteristics of Americans has always been their willingness to pack up and move in search of better places and better times. The recession has radically changed that.
Last year, 11.9 percent of the population, 35.2 million people, moved, down from 13.2 percent, or 38.7 million, the year before. That was the sharpest drop in mobility since the dot-com bust of 2000 and the lowest percentage in 60 years, since the Census bureau began measuring it in 1948.
No one can deny that the Internet is a life-changer. As a social networking tool, it is nonpareil. Many married couples would never would have met but for the Internet. Employers find employees and vice versa from around the globe — people whose paths never would have crossed but for the magic of cyberspace.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the mastermind behind the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001. If U.S. intelligence operatives had spotted him in a remote area of Pakistan and killed him with a Predator missile, most people would have said: "That’s justice."
I do not wish to shock you today but I am thinking of becoming a conservative. What else is a contrary fellow to do? Being a liberal was fun back when it wasn’t the "in" thing, but in the Obama era more and more people are leaning liberal to the point where it has become socially acceptable. Frankly, the old liberal magic of being universally reviled has faded for me.
Top US officials, not a "few bad apples" of low rank, were behind harsh military interrogation tactics that spread from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan to Iraq, a new Senate report said.
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s 261-page report, the fruit of its investigation into US treatment of "war on terror" detainees, is likely to stoke the ongoing debate over US techniques widely seen as torture.
No wasting time digging up the past? So much for that.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his attorney general would determine whether anyone from the Bush administration broke the law by crafting a legal rationale for drastic, demeaning interrogations of terror suspects. On the surface, it was a pragmatic call: Let the Justice Department lawyers check it out.
President Obama says the government will not prosecute CIA interrogators who used harsh interrogation techniques amounting to torture but left the door open to prosecuting the top Bush administration legal officials who authorized them.
Obama should drop the talk of prosecutions. If bad legal advice were a crime, the prisons would be packed. And the hubris and disdain for the American tradition and international law of those officials is disheartening, but nothing has shown any other motive than a desire to protect their country and incarcerate those who attacked it.
Not many financial companies saw an opportunity in the economic meltdown. But large insurers did, and now they’re using it to lobby for a lucrative change they’ve sought unsuccessfully for years.
Industry estimates suggest a rather obscure change in federal law could be worth billions of dollars annually to insurers. Key lawmakers and Obama administration officials say they’re open to it, and industry lobbyists see the drive to overhaul financial rules in the wake of the meltdown as their best chance in a long time to achieve it.
Liberal commentators were recently having a great, big if indignant chuckle at the expense of all those tea party yo-yos who didn’t get it that President Obama had a tax cut in mind for them, and that, hey, it was conservatism that brewed the current mess.
There was a lesson in this, namely that at least some if not all pundits of leftist stripe are not infrequently outthought by people of far less pretentiousness, by men and women who understand, for starters, what’s headed our way under Obama’s agenda.
President Obama has been accused of being too accommodating and too willing to please in foreign affairs. But he was quite direct in announcing over the weekend that the United States, "with regret," would boycott the U.N. conference on racism in Geneva this week.
". . . our participation would have involved putting our imprimatur on something we just don’t believe," the president said.
Like the U.N. commission on human rights, the most active players in the conference on racism seem to be the nations whose records least bear scrutiny.