FROM Morris Davis
The Commander in Chief and the Evolution of Terrorism In a rare speech from the oval office last night, President Obama tried to bolster the morale of Americans. He did not outline any new plan to defeat the Islamic State, and Republican reaction ranged from House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling the speech "nothing new," to presidential candidates -- unanimous in saying the president's strategy isn’t working. Nobody has offered a strategy to prevent another San Bernardino with lone wolves acting alone, without any known confederates or Internet presence. Despite the power of military force and electronic surveillance, will the next national nightmare also be revealed only in hindsight?
Guantánamo, the Constitution and Presidential Politics In 2008, candidate Barack Obama accused George W. Bush of abusing the power of the presidency to establish the prison at Guantánamo Bay. Now President Obama's accused of doing the same thing -- to close Guantánamo down. It's all about the authority of the Commander in Chief. But, Congress says the remaining inmates are too dangerous to be held in American prisons and has made the transfer illegal. The White House says executive action is "not off the table," which could light a political firestorm in time for next year's presidential campaign.
Guantánamo Bay: The Unmet Promise Since 2002, the "detention center" at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba has held almost 800 prisoners. When he got to the White House in 2009, President Obama said closing Guantánamo was his first order of business. Last week, five men of Yemeni descent were released, but 122 inmates are still there. The prison population is down to 122 -- with President Obama still trying to shut it down. John McCain -- the former POW -- once advocated closing the prison, but now he's joined other Republican Senators to oppose more releases any time soon. Meantime, a book by an inmate has generated claims that Guantánamo was a "laboratory for torture" of people held without charges. Will the President's first order of business be accomplished before he leaves office?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.