It suddenly turns out that U.S. intelligence agencies have been gathering much more information about American citizens than anyone thought or is appropriate and the nation’s largest communications companies have been part and parcel of these activities. Is anyone really surprised?
With a certain smug national self-satisfaction, it is called the “classic American success story.” A young lad — or lass, for that matter — of no particular advantage or solvency starts at the very bottom and through pluck, spunk, moxie and other vaguely obscene-sounding virtues works his way to the top of some huge enterprise.
Nowhere is that more true than in Washington, D.C., a capital whose very fuel is plucky young people, a city of limitless opportunity because there is plenty of room at the bottom and, when the electorate rouses itself, a lot of turnover at the top.
To hear my male peers tell it, when we were young one of them might stumble across — or somehow purloin (sometimes from a father’s stash) — the rare Playboy magazine.
And that would pretty much have to last the entire neighborhood of adolescent boys about a year, until the next one came along. That’s all they got until maybe they saw a pornographic movie in their fraternity basement.
And along the way it was pretty clear they were doing something secret, unusual, out of the norm. Not okay.
There can’t be many baseball fans that are still surprised by lineups of big leaguers whose names end in “guez” or “rez” or “ina.” Count ‘em: Rodriguezes, Ramirezes, Hernandezes, Gonzalezes, Perezes, Vazquezes, not to mention the Zambranos, Cabreras, Encarnacions, Suzukis, Matsuis, and Kims. Is there still a major league catcher not named Molina?
As the Senate debates a five-year, $286 billion agriculture-subsidy extravaganza, consider the heartwarming rhetoric about saving family farms. Who ever imagined such families included the Rockefellers?
As the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG.org) priceless Farm Subsidy Database reveals, philanthropist Mark Rockefeller received $228,350 in conservation subsidies between 2001 and 2005 for his Idaho farm. His brother, banking legend David Rockefeller, scored $29,615, thanks to his Hudson Valley farm.
It is said politics makes strange bedfellows. In this case, let’s call it bizarre bedfellows. There are few issues on which I normally agree with Colorado conservative Rep. Tom Tancredo. But when it comes to illegal immigration, we’re somewhat in sync.
A State Department review of private security guards for diplomats in Iraq is unlikely to recommend firing Blackwater USA over the deaths of 17 Iraqis last month, but the company probably is on the way out of that job, U.S. officials said.
Blackwater’s work escorting U.S. diplomats outside the protected Green Zone in Baghdad expires in May, one official said Wednesday, and other officials told The Associated Press they expect the North Carolina company will not continue to work for the embassy after that.
The Pentagon has misled Congress and the US public by conniving with the FBI to obtain hundreds of financial, telephone and Internet records without court approval, civil-rights campaigners said Sunday.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has successfully challenged key planks of US anti-terrorism legislation, said it had uncovered 455 “National Security Letters” (NSLs) issued at the behest of the Department of Defense.
That screech you hear is the sound of brakes being applied to the Army’s plans to replace the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arguably the most sacred spot in America, the majestic white sarcophagus has developed cracks and the elements have eroded its marble surface, rendering its inscriptions less distinct.
A former top US military commander in Iraq said the current White House strategy in Iraq will not achieve victory in the four-and-a-half-year war, which he described as “a nightmare with no end in sight” in a hard-hitting speech.
In the bluntest assessment of Iraq by a former senior Pentagon official yet, retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez also lambasted US political leaders as “incompetent,” “inept,” “derelict in the performance of their duty” and suggested they would have been court-martialed had they been members of the US military.