An embarrassment for Ike
| 52 years later, Gary Powers gets a medal
The posthumous Silver Star ceremony evokes memories of the cold war for military affairs reporter George Wilson. U-2 pilot Powers was shot down high over Russia on a mission that a CIA chieftain later said never should have been undertaken in the first place.
Hawkeye state head shaking
| Do we really want Iowa to be first in 2016?
It’s not just the atrocious mistakes and the rule of the religious right that should make the GOP and the press rethink Iowa’s role in presidential campaigns, it’s also the events that go as planned, such as the quadrennial phony-baloney Ames Straw Poll.
| Angry ratepayers want their broadband; Verizon gives them a can
In the latest chapter of the ongoing broadband wars, Verizon is suggesting that New Jersey customers who've paid to wire the state with fiber optics now be happy paying more and getting less with a wireless antenna, says telecom activist Bruce Kushnick.
Casualties of war
| How many Mexicans must die for America’s drugs?
The U.S. drug war has spawned incredible violence and political instability throughout the Americas. But as public health expert Ernest Drucker writes, leaders in Mexico and elsewhere are looking for a way out -- and with good reason.
Enough with the ‘he said, she said’
| Job destroying taxes? Ask pols, which ones are those?
Aren’t reporters tired of letting flannelmouthed politicians talk about ‘job destroying taxes’ without calling them on it? And on Obamacare – couldn’t the press, once in a while, point out that other values are at stake and get past dubious assertions about what the Constitution does or does not allow?
Letter from Austin
| In Texas, so many politicians’ names sound alike
Sometimes borrowed name identification helps a candidate; it did for George W. Bush, for example, and possibly some others that columnist Dave McNeely points out.
| Ten years later, renditions continue and questions remain unanswered
Many of the Bush administration's illicit practices with regard to the treatment of terror suspects continue. Two scholars whose new website showcases what we do know about the practice call attention here to all the things we still don't know.
Global warming as a plot against liberty
| The Iowa GOP platform, more outrageous than ever
Up for adoption soon, the platform, with 400 planks, is so extreme that an op ed in the Des Moines Register carried the headline, “A letter to the good people of Iowa: Are you crazy?” Aside from that column, however, a check showed no news coverage by the three largest newspapers in the state.
Too surreal to be true
| Behind Stephen Colbert's fascination with Super PACs, c4s and 'independent' expenditures
Colbert's lawyer, Trevor Potter, says the Colbert Report coverage works because it 'accurately describes a campaign finance world that seems too surreal to be true'. His most immediate concern: Groups focused on Congress 'knocking off unsuspecting incumbents with last minute expenditures of large sums of money, often paid for by undisclosed sources.'
Register voters, pay a big penalty
| The mean-spirited, massive drive to cut down the vote, state by state
For reporters and editors, is there a more important story for democracy in America than the laws making it harder, sometimes almost impossible, for millions of people to vote? Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center spells them out: 22 new laws and two executive actions in 17 states, and at least 74 more restrictive bills pending in 24 states.