Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., once said the conservative interest in life begins at conception and ends at birth. By that I took him to mean that religious conservatives are furiously preoccupied with bringing each and every pregnancy to term. But they lose that apparent passion for children when it comes to subsidizing indigent parents. He had a point.
It is safe to say that everybody involved was stunned by the reactions to the FBI’s raid on a congressional office and the continuing repercussions. And it is safe to say that this flap of more heat than light over the separation of powers is largely the fault of Congress itself and especially the U.S. House.
It’s time for a national conversation on war. The avalanche of bad news from Iraq and Afghanistan is a signal that we need a bipartisan consensus on when to resort to armed force; on what circumstances, if any, call for going it alone, or whether we should always act in concert with allies; and on what foreseeable or imaginable situation would warrant resort to nuclear weapons.
There is a lot of fine print in the 600-plus-page bill passed this week. It’s true, as senators say, that the legislation would erect more border barriers and seek to better manage the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. But it also includes perks to the privileged, blurs some border security provisions, and makes other substantive changes that activists on both sides of the debate are only now beginning to understand.