Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev won't be sent before a military tribunal for a technical reason: As a U.S. citizen, he isn't eligible.
But that technicality stopped us from addressing a more important consideration: Even if authorities could bring him or any suspected terrorist before a military commission, why would they ever want to?
This is for the rest of us.
Meaning the ones who don’t have personal chefs, gift-wrapping rooms or hired sycophants, who don’t hobnob or rub shoulders, and who drive the same car every day of the week.
The rest of us would like to offer some of you a little advice:
If you ever find yourself asking, “Do you know who I am?” or any variation thereof, it’s a pretty good indicator that you are not, in fact, as famous as your hired sycophants (and your ego) have led you to believe. If it is necessary to call attention to your fame, you may not be all that famous to begin with.
The proposed changes to North Carolina’s voting laws have dominated political headlines for the past few months. Is voter fraud a significant problem in our state? Will a requirement of government-issued photo IDs unnecessarily infringe on the right to vote? Should students be able to vote where they live?
Absent from the headlines and the larger public conversation are the right-to-vote challenges faced by thousands of North Carolinians who live either temporarily or permanently in nursing homes, state-operated facilities and other congregate residences. For some people, the hardest part about voting is remembering what time the poll closes or finding a parking spot. But for others, casting a ballot during an election is an Odyssean ordeal.
Clare Boothe Luce liked to say that "a great man is one sentence." Presidents, in particular. The most common "one sentence" for George W. Bush (whose legacy is being reassessed as his presidential library opens) is: "He kept us safe."
Not quite right. He did not just keep us safe. He created the entire anti-terror infrastructure that continues to keep us safe.
That homage was paid, wordlessly, by Barack Obama, who vilified Bush's anti-terror policies as a candidate, then continued them as president: indefinite detention, rendition, warrantless wiretaps, special forces and drone warfare and, most notoriously, Guantanamo, which Obama so ostentatiously denounced - until he found it indispensable.
In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation's attentions turned to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush.
During Thursday's dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure, the Iraq invasion. All living presidents were in attendance and made only generic references to mistakes and regrets familiar to all. Of course Bush famously acknowledges no mistakes or regrets, but rather bequeaths judgment to history and self-doubt to those of lesser conviction.
Ordinarily, I’d thank you for writing.
But truth is, I am not grateful you wrote; your note last week was one of the more troubling things I have read. I do not blame you for leaving it unsigned.
“We stand together,” I had written. “We stand defiant. And we stand with Boston.”
House conservatives met Wednesday for the latest installment of their "Conversations with Conservatives" luncheon series, but they took their places on the dais without sampling the Chick-fil-A sandwiches and nuggets on offer.
These days, House conservatives prefer to eat their own.
Republican leaders had scheduled a vote in the chamber for Wednesday on a plan to help people with pre-existing health problems get insurance - part of a broader scheme by Majority Leader Eric Cantor to make Republicans appear to care about the little guy. But the conservatives lunching in the Rayburn House Office Building weren't biting.
Now that Pat McCrory has passed the oh-so-important mark of 100 days in office, the political class in Raleigh feels obligated to offer a critique of his administration. The most common one is that Gov. McCrory is playing “small ball.”
In 2009, Ruslan Tsarni and his nephew Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a bitter argument over the implications of their faith. Tsarnaev announced he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. "I was shocked when I heard his words, his phrases, when every other word he starts sticking in words of God," says Tsarni. "There is someone who brainwashed him, some new convert to Islam." The falling out ended their relationship.
In the last three years, Durham Public Schools has faced significant funding decreases. And yet our schools continue to move forward, thanks to a Durham community that steadfastly advocates for children and commits its time and energies on their behalf as volunteers and partners.
Our Durham community stands by our schools for two reasons. First and most importantly, we recognize that our children must realize their potential. Whether it is the academically gifted third grader, the limited English proficient child of Guatemalan parents, the teenager with profound hearing loss, the college-bound senior juggling Advanced Placement classes, or the young child whose parents are climbing out of poverty - each child has gifts to be discovered and nurtured. It is our obligation to help them prepare for a prosperous adulthood.
In retrospect, George W. Bush's legacy doesn't look as bad as it did when he left office. It looks worse.
I join the nation in congratulating Bush on the opening of his presidential library in Dallas. Like many people, I find it much easier to honor, respect and even like the man - now that he's no longer in the White House.
But anyone tempted to get sentimental should remember the actual record of the man who called himself The Decider. Begin with the indelible stain that one of his worst decisions left on our country's honor: torture.
The Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell was one of the few places in the state to provide late-term abortions. From witness accounts the clinic smelled of cat urine. There was a free-roaming, flea-infested feline that reportedly defecated all over the medical facility. The clinic, described in the grand jury report as "a criminal enterprise, motivated by greed," spread venereal diseases to their patients, reportedly delivered live babies and killed them and, according to testimony, had a 15-year-old high school student medicate and perform most of the clinic's procedures unsupervised.
Dr. Gosnell along with several co-defendants/employees are charged with eight counts of murder from medical malpractice. They were arrested in January 2011. Their trial is this month.
The nation demonstrated again last week how resolute it can be when threatened by murderous terrorists - and how helpless when ordered to heel by smug lobbyists for the gun industry.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's deadly rampage through the Boston area provoked not fear but defiance. Even before one brother was killed and the other captured, the city was impatient to get back to normal - eager to show the world that unspeakable violence might shock, sadden and enrage, but would never intimidate. "Sweet Caroline," the perennial eighth-inning singalong at Fenway Park, became an unlikely anthem of unity and resistance.
There are hundreds of reasons to celebrate Georgann Eubanks’ third and last in her “Literary Trails of the North Carolina” series.
Follow her travels in the just released “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina,” and you will have the most enjoyable and efficient survey of authors and literary connections in that region.
But one of my favorite parts of her books is the descriptions of the places where literary-connected people eat.
Is there nobody who can tell Ted Cruz to shut up?
The young senator from Texas has been on the job for about 100 days, but he has already turned upside down the Senate's ancient seniority system and is dominating his senior Republican colleagues. He's speaking for them on immigration, guns and any other topic that tickles his fancy; Republican leaders are seething at being outshone yet are terrified of challenging him.