Another small step was taken last week on the steep and winding ascent back to constitutional norms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the nation's second-most important court, did its judicial duty by reprimanding Congress for abandoning constitutional propriety.
"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."
-- "Me and Bobby McGee"
Vladimir Putin's serial humiliations of America's bewildered secretary of state regarding Syria indicate Putin's determination to destabilize the world. Here is an even more ominous indication of events moving his way: On just one day last week, Italian ships plucked 6,055 migrants from the Mediterranean.
Looking on the bright side, perhaps this election can teach conservatives to look on the dark side. They need a talent for pessimism, recognizing the signs that whatever remains of American exceptionalism does not immunize this nation from decay, to which all regimes are susceptible.
Here on the High Plains, where the deer and the antelope once played, Denver's suburbs roam toward the Rockies' front range and the nature of today's polyglot politics is written in the local congressman's campaign schedule.
Technology has put powerful computers in billions of pockets, but an invention much more mundane than the smartphone -- the shipping container: a rectangular steel box -- also has changed the world. Because of it, two of today's preoccupations -- infrastructure and globalization -- are connected by a chain of events that began more than 60 years ago and today runs through Congress and to the wharves of Charleston's booming port.
Documents inconvenient to the regime went into the Ministry of Truth's slits and down to "enormous furnaces." Modern tyrannies depend on state control of national memories -- retroactive truths established by government fiat. Which is why Russia's Supreme Court recently upheld the conviction of a blogger for violating Article 354.1 of Russia's criminal code.
Republican congressional leaders ardently want conservative members of the House to not force a vote on impeaching the IRS commissioner.
Because truth in labeling laws are among the laws from which Washington feels exempt, the titles of congressional legislation often take liberties with the facts (e.g., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act, however, precisely names the ailment for which it is the remedy.
Nevada, which calls itself the "Battle Born State," actually was born prematurely because of Republicans' anxiety. Now, 152 years later, it again is a subject of their anxiety.