Category: Column

T.J. O’Hara’s current column, A Civil Assessment, published by IVN (the Indepedent Voter Network) plus a library of past articiles by the author as they have appeared in CDN, The Washington Times Communities and other major publications

 

A Fiscal Cliff? More Like A Political One

As voters, we’ll be asked to ignore the dereliction of duty demonstrated by our elected leaders; threatened with horrible outcomes if a federal budget isn’t passed and the debt ceiling isn’t increased; then, suffer through the traditional blame game, where the two major parties take turns distorting the truth and casting aspersions at each other in an attempt to gain a political advantage in next year’s midterm elections.

As I’ve said in the past, perhaps it’s time that we replaced the fiscal cliff with a political one. …Read more

 

Why We Have a Federal Department of Education

Following her historic confirmation as Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos may find herself unemployed. A bill (H.R. 899) has already been proffered to eliminate the Department of Education. The bill, introduced by Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), and co-sponsored by seven other Republican members of the House, is terse by any standard invoking just one sentence: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” …Read more

A Civil Assessment: Partisan Bias Conditions Many to Accept or Reject Executive Orders


With the recent rash of executive orders, political lines have been drawn in the sand. Supporters of President Trump have praised his use of executive orders as strongly as they had objected to it under the Obama administration. Correspondingly, critics of the Trump administration, who had previously endorsed former President Obama’s aggressive use of his “pen-and-phone” tactic, now shed tears and organize protests about the new administration’s mirroring of that approach. One thing is for sure: political bias has generally triumphed over fact… Read more

Reflecting Upon Another of the War in Afghanistan

Afghanistan - shutterstock_193980335October 7, 2015, marks the 14th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. During that time, we have spent over $700 billion and more than 2,200 American lives have been lost with countless others impacted by loss of limb and PTSD. Yet, Afghanistan stands primed to return to its past state once U.S. troops are removed.

This is what happens in the absence of a cogent foreign policy… Read more

Congress Shouldn’t Get a Recess Until It Finishes Its Homework

TJO Photo - 600x400 SharpenedCongress is in “recess”… a term that seems somewhat apropos since our legislators have acted so childishly in recent years. You can almost see them on the playground arguing over whose turn it is to pick first even though you already know who’s going to end up on both teams.

This is not to say that senators and representatives don’t deserve a break… Read more

How to find Substance in These Mostly Substanceless Primary Shows

Republican 2016 presidential candidates (L-R), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, pose together at the start of the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX1NE3Y

It’s that time again. Time to celebrate another presidential election cycle; an event that’s inching closer to becoming a perpetual race as opposed to a process that occurs every four years.

Did you catch the first Republican debate? There were so many candidates they had to split the field into two groups. It reminds me of when they have to add a gate to the Kentucky Derby to accommodate all the horses whose owners can afford the entrance fee… Read more

Can Congress grant us a ‘pardon’ from the State of the Union

State of the UnionRANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., January 8, 2014 – As those of you who are familiar with my work already know, I examine our Government from an unusual perspective; one that assumes that it must follow the Constitution. Accordingly, I respect proposed solutions that adhere to that premise while forcing us into the uncomfortable realm of hosting “a civil assessment” of their merit. In that regard, I offer the suggestion of Scot Faulkner to bypass this year’s State of the Union Address … Read more

Congress’ role in torturing the People

Senate Intelligence CommitteeRANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., December 14, 2014 – Many have asked why the  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chose to release its Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program at this time. The answer is simple. They wanted to torture the American people.

According to Wikipedia: “Torture is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological pain and possibly injury to a person…, usually to one who is physically restrained or otherwise under the torturer’s control or custody and unable to defend against what is being done to them” Read more

An ‘Unspeakable’ Way to Return the Republic to the People

Boehner at the 113th Congress in WashingtonSAN DIEGO, Ca. December 3, 2014 – Every two years, we are graced with the opportunity to either restart our Nation or reaffirm Jonathan Gruber’s hypothesis concerning our stupidity. Unfortunately, the Parties have conditioned our behavior to favor the latter. They have also been allowed to erect enormous economic barriers to ballot access that have turned our election cycles into auctions. Legitimate independent candidates with fresh ideas can’t afford the “buy in.” So, we’re stuck… or are we?

What if I told you that a solution actually exists; one that might break the gridlock in Washington, D.C.; one that can be accomplished with little or no money; one that just might return political power to the People? Do I have your attention? … Read more

The jury is still out on the impact of Ferguson

ferguson-protest1RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., December 2, 2014 – It has been a week since the not-so-grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. However, an indictment was handed down. It simply had nothing to do with the officer or victim and was extrajudicial in nature. It was an indictment of our society in general, its lack of respect for people and the law, and its misplaced priorities … Read more

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