May 15, 2013 |
When the government obstructs the ability of a news organization to do its job, the most important victims are not journalists but readers. That's why long-standing guidelines set clear limits on how Justice Department prosecutors are expected to behave when interacting with the news media. "In recognition of the importance of freedom of the press to a free and democratic society," the government's own rules say, subpoenas for reporter's records or notes must be personally authorized by the attorney general, may be issued only after other sources are exhausted and are expected to be limited in scope to avoid gratuitous invasion into news gathering.
May 13, 2013 |
The use of unmanned aircraft to kill suspected terrorists, a practice that has dramatically escalated during the Obama administration, is receiving fresh and welcome scrutiny in Congress and elsewhere even as the number of drone strikes seems to be on the decline. Last week, Rep. William M. "Mac" Thornberry (R-Texas), the chairman of a House armed services subcommittee, introduced legislation to require the Pentagon to promptly inform Congress about every drone strike outside Afghanistan as well as about operations to kill or capture terrorists away from declared war zones.
May 3, 2013 |
The Obama administration overstepped its legal authority - and injected politics into what should have been a scientific decision - when it ordered the FDA to limit the availability of a common morning-after contraceptive without prescription to girls and women 17 and older. The FDA had already evaluated the drug and determined that it was safe for females of all ages and should be available to all. That's why U.S. District Court Judge Edward R. Korman last month overruled the administration's decision and ordered that the drug be made available without prescription to females regardless of age. The judge was absolutely right.
April 28, 2013 |
Here are three things the Obama administration has done that you probably didn't know about: Ever struggle with those accordion-style rubber sleeves on nozzles at the gas station? The sleeve -- technically a "vapor recovery nozzle" -- was required by the Environmental Protection Agency to keep gasoline vapors from leaking into the air. But most cars and trucks now have technology that does the job better, so last year the EPA abolished the nozzle requirement. Because each sleeve-equipped nozzle can cost as much as $300, the change will save gas stations thousands of dollars.
April 26, 2013 |
The Obama administration's Home Affordable Refinance Program is at last helping legions of American homeowners with upside-down mortgages. Nearly 1.1 million homeowners with little or no equity were able to refinance last year under HARP, which assists borrowers who are current on their monthly payments. That's nearly as many as in the three previous years combined, and the latest figures show that early this year, the pace of these refis abated only slightly. The program has become a success story after a stumbling start with slack lender participation.
April 22, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Not long ago, Chuck Hagel's past comments about Israel nearly torpedoed his nomination as Defense secretary. In his first visit here since winning confirmation, he's sticking to one word in particular: “Friend. " “I look forward to renewing some old friendships,” Hagel told reporters on the flight from Washington. Aides noted he had visited Israel six times as a U.S. senator from Nebraska and as a private citizen. After touring Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Hagel addressed a message in the guest book Sunday to “my friends of Israel.” He praised the museum and archive for its “beautiful and important tribute” and signed it, “your friend, Chuck Hagel.” Hagel has appeared a veteran statesman in his first two days of meetingS here, touting not only the close relationship between the United States and Israel but also his own fidelity to the Jewish people.