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If our choice in Iraq is to go big or go home, we should go home

It ain’t for nothing that columnist Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post has won a Pulitzer Prize. Simply stated, Robinson is more often right than not. America would do well, it seems to me,  to heed the advice Robinson offers in his LATEST SUBMISSION: If Iraqis won’t fight for their nation’s survival, why on earth should we? This is the question posed by the fall of Ramadi, which revealed the emptiness at the core of U.S. policy. President Obama’s critics are missing the point: Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many troops he sends...

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Surprise! Ben Carson was against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and also in Vietnam!

It’s my guess that most Republicans who see Dr. Ben Carson as a good choice for their party’s presidential nomination don’t know about this: Carson says it was a mistake for the U.S. to invade Iraq and adds that he wrote a letter to President George W. Bush advising against the war in Afghanistan as well. But wait! It gets better. Carson says this of America’s ill-fated military adventure in Southeast Asia: In the case of Vietnam, we were trying to stop the spread of communism, which seems like a noble cause to those...

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The political ignorance and apathy of the American people is shocking

It behooves me, I suppose, to begin this submission with an old joke: Question: Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? Answer: I don’t know, and I don’t care. That gag came to mind when I read THIS PIECE the other day: The data on American political apathy is rather consistent, and stunning. Begin with the fact that even in presidential election years, 40 to 50 percent of the voting-age public simply chooses not to participate in the voting process at all, while two-thirds chooses not to vote in midterm elections. Even more...

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Stupid answers to a stupid question

The mainstream media have been busying themselves lately asking politicians in general and presidential hopefuls in particular if they would have approved the U.S. military invasion of Iraq on the basis of what we know now. It’s the wrong question, and it elicits the wrong answers. James Fallows points out HERE: Leaders don’t make decisions on the basis of “what we know now” retrospectively. They have to weigh evidence based on “what we knew then,” in real time… The “knowing what we know” question presumes that the Bush...

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A brokered Republican convention? Bring it on! Bring it on!

Over the course of several decades back in the day, I was a credentialed journalist at the national conventions of both political parties every four years. It didn’t take long, however, for the thrill of it all to wear thin, and I finally stopped going after the conventions of 1984. The problem was that conventions had become boring. The schedule of primary elections in various states had become increasingly long, and the parceling of delegates was pretty much done before the convention was held. The event itself was dedicated only to...

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In the wake of Waco, it’s time to deal with the epidemic of white-on-white crime

Incidents of racial unrest in America in recent months have given rise to concern about the problem of black-on-black crime. More than a few white folks have expressed great wonder at why so many black people victimize one another. Indeed, the question often arises: What’s wrong with those people? They’re only hurting themselves. But a somewhat different question also arises, especially in the wake of yesterday’s outbreak of violence among biker gangs in Waco, Tex.: Why is white-on-white crime so commonplace in America?...

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Is the Republican Party literally dying away?

Over and over again in recent years, the point has been made that demographic changes in America tend to favor Democrats over Republicans. For example, the non-white segment of the populace, most of which leans Democratic, is growing faster than the white segment. But there’s another factor that spells trouble for the GOP: It’s membership is dying off at a faster pace than that of the Democrats. Daniel J. McGraw has the story HERE: There’s been much written about how millennials are becoming a reliable voting bloc for Democrats,...

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Where’s the outrage over Jeb’s claim that Iraq War veterans can’t deal with the truth?

On most any given day, one or more of my Facebook friends will post a message encouraging respect and support for U.S. military troops and veterans. Most such messages are welcome and worthy, but a few are not. Sometimes there are not-so-subtle suggestions that any Americans who have dissented against certain wars are somehow unpatriotic and not supportive of the troops. That’s nonsense, of course, especially since veterans themselves have been known on occasion to speak out against American military misadventures. That was especially...

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Jeb Bush’s loyalty to his family is admirable, but it doesn’t recommend him for the presidency

As a person with four siblings, I happily take it for granted that none of them would ever publicly discuss any of my many shortcomings of character. No, I’m probably not a really terrible person, but neither am I a candidate for sainthood. When I breathe my last, my surviving siblings likely will say only nice things about me. That kind of ethic prevails in most families, I’m guessing. But it’s potentially problematic when the brother and son of two previous presidents of the United States is running for that office...

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Obama says he knows what kind of stuff is aired on Fox News — and that makes Fox News angry

Sometimes it seems that the folks who run Fox News Channel would prefer that the stuff it airs was heard only by the gullible geezers who comprise the bulk of its viewing audience. The Foxies definitely don’t like it that Barack Obama, of all people, is not oblivious to the nonsense the channel peddles. Jonathan Chait EXPLAINS: There are certain facts that an educated person realizes you can’t point out without provoking an angry rebuttal from a Fox News devotee — climate scientists overwhelmingly believe in the theory of anthropogenic...

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Surprise! Crime rates are down — and so is the per-capita number of cops

  It’s not easy to sell most Americans on the fact — repeat: fact — that crime rates in this country have been declining for years now. People watch too much TV, which gives them the impression that the crime situation is just as bad as misleading newscasts and fictional police dramas suggest. HERE‘s the truth of the matter: The number of police officers per person is falling nationally, along with reported crime.  A report released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) shows there were 15.1 police...

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Here’s why Republican politicians don’t much care about Amtrak

Is it too rash to lay blame for the fatal Amtrak crash near Philadelphia at the feet of congressional Republicans? Perhaps so. Or perhaps not. The inescapable truth is that Republican lawmakers aren’t much concerned with Amtrak. Their priorities lie elsewhere. Besides, their constituents are far less likely to use Amtrak than those of their Democratic colleagues. Philip Bump of the Washington Post EXPLAINS: House Republicans had planned to spend Wednesday marking up a transportation spending bill that included steep cuts to the budget...

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