For people who love to vote in big TV talent competitions, this week double delivers. American Idol is in the thick of its live performance shows and Dancing With The Stars comes back with its 12th season. This round of Idol competitors has a lot of singing talent, but my big question is this: Can Dancing With The Stars survive without, well, stars?
The percentage of undisclosed money in the political system went up during last year's midterm elections. That's because of a dramatic increase in advertising by anonymously funded freelance organizations such as the American Action Fund and Citizens for Strength and Security.
Much of the money is thought to come from corporations. Now, proponents of transparency are winning disclosure battles one corporation at a time.
President Obama's ordering of U.S. military into action in Libya is yet the latest example of a feature of the U.S. presidency that it doesn't take a political scientist to see, that presidents can and do often act with a freer hand in foreign affairs and war-making than they can in domestic affairs, especially when control of Congress is divided between or totally in the hands of other parties.
And Congress is, of necessity, rarely happy about that.
Germany's Der Spiegel magazine today published three photographs of U.S. Army soldiers posing with the corpses of dead Afghans — images that were quickly condemned as "repugnant" by an Army spokesman.
The photos are connected to an already highly charged event — the deaths of three unarmed Afghans last year. "Five soldiers based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the case," The Associated Press notes. It adds that: