No doubt the degraded quality of congressional oversight astonishes Thomas Pickering, the distinguished American diplomat who oversaw the State Department's Benghazi review board -- although he tries not to say so too directly. For his demanding and difficult effort -- only the most recent in a long history of public service under both Republican and Democratic administrations -- Pickering has found himself under sustained attack by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the excitable partisan who chairs the House Government Reform Committee.
Having served in Congress for more than three decades -- and in the upper chamber since 1996 -- Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden has established a reputation as one of the Senate's more serious and diligent members. Over the years on Capitol Hill, he has watched the Republican Party veer constantly further rightward, and yet he continues to believe against all evidence that bipartisan legislative cooperation is possible -- even likely. His habitual reaching across the partisan chasm has generated much controversy, notably when he floated a Medicare reform plan with House Budget chair Paul Ryan.
Less than four months after Barack Obama's inauguration, the right-wing propaganda machine is already promoting the only imaginable conclusion to a Democratic administration that dares to achieve a second term: impeachment. Once confined to the ranks of the birthers, the fantasy of removing President Obama from office is starting to fester in supposedly saner minds.
Like all such monuments that former presidents construct to edify the public, the George W. Bush Presidential Center -- opened with great ceremony in Texas last week -- is mounted from its subject's point of view.
Having directed NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies for most of the past four decades, Dr. James E. Hansen retired this month to devote himself to the scientific activism that has brought both awards and catcalls during his long and distinguished career. On April 24, he will receive the Ridenhour Courage Prize in Washington, D.C., for "bravely and urgently telling the truth about climate change."
What can Americans learn from the bitter debate over the gun reform bill?
Amid all the suffocating claptrap celebrating Margaret Thatcher in the media, only the British themselves seem able to provide a refreshing hit of brisk reality. Over here, she is the paragon of principle known as the "Iron Lady," devoted to freedom, democracy and traditional values who bolstered the West against encroaching darkness. Over there, she is seen clearly as a class warrior, whose chief accomplishments involved busting unions and breaking the post-war social contract.
By all accounts, Hillary Rodham Clinton has not yet decided whether to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. But the prospect of her candidacy, combined with her undeniable popularity, is agitating certain commentators so deeply that they simply cannot withhold their bile.
Anthony Lewis, the former New York Times reporter and columnist who died Monday at the age of 86, shaped the American conscience on a broad range of issues, from civil liberties and civil rights to war and diplomacy, for almost 50 years. During his long career, Lewis won numerous awards and published several important books. Unlike many men of his generation who rose to high positions in journalism, he was a charming and thoughtful man who could listen as intently as he talked.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, recently spoke with The National Memo about the sequester's automatic budget cuts, the danger of cuts to Social Security, the Keystone XL pipeline, immigration reform, President Obama and how to defend labor in an era of attacks on the right to organize.