Hawaii’s government will change only with attrition
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WASHINGTON — 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.
Now that pro-democracy protests have shut large swaths of central Hong Kong, China’s leaders find themselves in a trap of their own making. Denying residents authentic democracy has not led to stability nor peace in the city-state. Crushing the demonstrations would do even more harm to the international reputation for freedom and the rule of law that has allowed Hong Kong to prosper as a semi-autonomous piece of the People’s Republic of China. The future of the city-state — and much more — rests on whether the Chinese central government realizes that its tight grip is ultimately counterproductive.
Dependence on foreign oil funds terrorism
Departing Attorney General Eric Holder deserves cheers for his stance on civil rights, in my view, but bemused jeers for his assaults on civil liberties.
As we start the final stretch before the midterm elections, many analysts are convinced that Obamacare isn’t the hot political issue it once was. While the flood of negative publicity about the law has subsided of late, a majority of people still oppose it, according to a Real Clear Politics average of polls taken from Sept. 2 to 15. And I’ve always believed the voters’ negative impressions of the law were “baked” into their assessments of Democratic incumbents.
Hope Solo, star goalie of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, notched her 73rd career shutout for Team USA in a game against Mexico last week. That’s a record. She’s a celebrity, with the endorsement deals and an appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” to prove it.
The last time a Democrat won a U.S. Senate race in Kansas, Herbert Hoover was in the White House.
WASHINGTON — When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”
Amid a spate of scandals over the rigging of financial benchmarks ranging from commodities to currencies to interest rates, the British government is making a bold move toward restoring confidence: By the end of this year, it plans to make manipulation a criminal offense in all the affected markets.
Park service continues to hold up progress
URBANDALE, Iowa — The Machine Shed restaurant, where the waitresses wear bib overalls and suggest a cinnamon roll the size of a loaf of bread as a breakfast appetizer, sells a root beer called Dang!, bandages made to look like bacon strips, and signs that proclaim “I love you more than bacon.” For Joni Ernst, however, the apposite sign reads “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.”
At the United Nations on Wednesday, President Barack Obama offered a powerful case for war against the Islamic State. “This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria,” he said. “There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”
Attorney General Eric Holder, who plans to step down after more than five years in office, has efforts and achievements to be proud of, no doubt, but will probably be remembered above all for something he didn’t do: prosecute top executives for their role in the 2008 financial crisis.
WASHINGTON — Christian conservatives are often the subject of study by academics, who seem to find their culture as foreign as that of Borneo tribesmen. And this is a particularly interesting time for brave social scientists to put on their pith helmets and head to Wheaton, Ill., Colorado Springs or unexplored regions of the South. They will find a community under external and internal cultural stress.