American Way: Don’t Impose Watergate on the Scandals Facing Obama – They Stand on Their Own – The Telegraph
Somewhere Richard Nixon is smiling. Four decades after Watergate and two decades after his death, we still can’t stop talking about the dark anti-hero of American politics. His five-o’clock shadowy visage remains too convenient a metaphor for lazy critics looking to lacerate a president from the opposing party.
The latest non-Watergate to be labelled its second coming is actually a combination of three separate scandals afflicting the Barack Obama administration.
The collective weight of this scandalabra threatens to derail the president’s ambitious legislative agenda, dragging him to premature lame duck status. But it doesn’t represent outright criminality emanating from the Oval Office or promise to provoke a constitutional crisis, however fervently Obama’s critics might wish it. Read More…
Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day propelled America back to a 9/11 mindset. Tuesday through Thursday were pre-occupied with grief, manhunts and memorial services. Poisonous envelopes mailed to the president and two US senators, along with a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, only added to the low hum of anxiety.
Then on Friday, the manhunt culminated with the killing of one suspect and the capture of another – two Chechen brothers whose immigrant experience was twisted by radical Islam and turned into a nightmare for the citizens of Boston. The city’s lockdown turned into a spontaneous celebration, with the waving of American flags, applause for the SWAT teams, chants of “U-S-A” interspersed with the Boston Red Sox unofficial anthem “Sweet Caroline.”
It was “a tough week,” as President Obama said in a post-arrest press conference at the White House. But we emerged stronger, if sadder, and more united as a result of all we had experienced.. Read More…
Nothing focuses the mind like the prospect of being hanged in the morning.
And so when the leaders of Congress went to meet President Obama at the White House on Friday afternoon, there was finally an appropriate degree of urgency about avoiding the fiscal cliff, set to kick in on January 1st.
Nonetheless, no deal was done in the hour-long, face-to-face negotiations.
The good news was simply that the key players were talking – that, sadly, counts as progress. It will be a working weekend in Washington, as Senate Leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell squirrel away and try to craft a deal that can pass both the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the last hours of the year. Success is far-from assured. Read More…
Connecticut School Shooting: Standing Up to the Gun Lobby is the Best Way to Honour the Innocent Victims – The Telegraph
America’s deadliest school shooting occurred one day before the 221st anniversary of the adoption of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.
Our gun laws might look strange across the Atlantic, where murder rates are small compared to the 10,000 people per year who die here from gunshot wounds.
Because our civic debates over gun laws are rooted in the constitution, they have a fixed foundation. Conversations get heated when the founding fathers are invoked and to some extent this elevation of gun rights keeps debates decidedly abstract. This tendency is reinforced by American culture and mythology, the settling of the West by pioneers and the centrality of guns in American movies ranging from John Wayne to the Godfather. It is a symbol of independence. Read More…
Newtown, Connecticut, is where families move to keep their children safe.
Only an hour from New York City, the town was founded well before the Revolutionary War. It’s where Scrabble was invented, a stop on the Underground Railroad, home to antique stores, picturesque libraries and good schools.
Now it will be known as the site of the deadliest school shooting in American history.
Evil visited this bucolic town on an otherwise quiet Friday morning, two weeks before Christmas.
Twenty children and six adults were murdered in the halls of the Sandy Hook Elementary school at the hands a 20-year old former student named Adam Lanza whose mother was a teacher there. Read More…