In the first days of the Iraq war 11 years ago, Army reservist Jay Briseno was shot in the back of the head at a Baghdad market. The bullet left him blind, brain-damaged, paralyzed from the neck down and unable to communicate, eat or breathe on his own.
It is a long, long way from the "JV team" to the "network of death." It is even longer from the arguments of President Obama's 2014 West Point commencement address -- which ridiculed "tough talk," criticized a "military solution" in Syria and ignited various straw men of military adventurism -- to the substance of Obama's 2014 United Nations address.
This is a tale of two countries. The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That country made it possible for even those born in the humblest and most meager circumstances to climb to the pinnacle of prosperity and achievement. It helped save the world in a great global conflagration, fed and rebuilt the devastated nations of Europe, planted the first footprints on another world.
WASHINGTON -- The last lunch hour of the summer was like many others outside the White House gates. In Lafayette Square, office workers were eating, or just sitting, on the park benches. On the sidewalk nearest the White House, tourists were taking photos of the Executive Mansion through the ornamental fence. In the pedestrian section of Pennsylvania Avenue, the usual suspects presented their causes: anti-China, anti-nuclear, anti-gun, anti-same-sex-marriage. Jehovah's Witnesses offered pamphlets. A man held a picket sign asking, "What Is Terrorism?"
The anti-Obama left was out in force. All 22 of them.
It shouldn't be this way, but the well-to-do tend to dominate public conversations in this country. The result has been a national preoccupation with the comfort, safety and psychological health of children like theirs -- that is, children who go to college.
It is the most important development so far in the 2016 presidential race, at least on the Republican side: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is evidently not a total meathead.
Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don't want another war.
The Federal Communications Commission should not turn the "information superhighway" into a toll road.
WASHINGTON -- When Trey Gowdy got the job to run the House's new Benghazi select committee, there was good reason to fear bad things.
McCLELLANVILLE, S.C. -- Highway 17 heading north from Charleston is the kind of funky, low-country trail I love. Roadside vendors sell sweetgrass baskets made in Gullah tradition, and late-summer flora is profuse and aquarium green.
My mother was a child abuser. I was, too. In fact, growing up, pretty much every parent I knew abused their kids.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was testifying Tuesday about the need for military action in Syria and Iraq when Ann Wright, an anti-war demonstrator in the audience, rose and began shouting: "No more war! No more war!"
Mark Sanford's heralded engagement to Maria Belen Chapur is apparently over. The rep from South Carolina released the news to America through a Facebook post. That's how Chapur found out, too.
"I think they're going too far with Ray Rice."
The most compelling and encouraging parts of President Obama's Islamic State speech -- his intention to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the enemy, his pledge to hunt down its fighters and deny them "safe haven," his moral clarity on their "acts of barbarism" -- also sounded least like Obama.
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