Now that Congress has agreed to an overall budget for the next two years and raised the debt ceiling until 2017, and the U.S. House of Representatives has a new speaker in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the early conventional wisdom is that Washington has finally and mercifully turned the corner on governing by crisis.
During Obama's time in office, his administration has taken no action to actually rebalance the system so candidates are accountable to ordinary Americans, not just wealthy special interests. As the president enters his final 14 months, he would do well to consider how history will remember him on this issue.
Certain actions have a pernicious and corrosive effect on democratic institutions and should be considered as violations of the Constitution. I believe that a persuasive case can be made that five actions by President Barack Obama meet this standard.
The recent horrific attack by ISIS in Paris means that 2015 will end similarly to how it began, with the barbaric killings of Parisians at the hands of Jihadists terrorists. 2015 has been a very difficult year for Paris and for France in general; and the prospects for 2016 aren't looking so bright either.
The right-wing's manic desire to turn every horrific and bloody terror attack into a political vendetta against immigrants and Muslims is a worn script. But it's a serviceable one.
One hopes that the recent events in Paris (at a time when ISISphobia has replaced Francophobia) will begin the process of forging a new trans-Atlantic sense of solidarity with America's historic enemy and perhaps remove some of the allure of French-bashing among the American Right.
Carson's popularity among white and black conservatives is a dire threat to racial and social justice. Like Clarence Thomas and other black conservatives, Carson advances the myth that we live in a post-racist society.
In the coming days, the Philippines will be in the global spotlight. It will play host to one of the world's most important gatherings, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting -- a prestigious hobnob comparable with the G20 and G7 summits.
Isis, notwithstanding President Barack Obama's singularly ill-timed claim of just a few days ago, is decidedly not contained after a year of American air strikes and stop-and-start ground action. Chaos is again in the saddle.
In reaction to the Paris massacre, French President François Hollande said, "[This] is an act of war ... committed by a terrorist army." Acts of war used to be the monopoly of nation-states. Obviously, that is no longer the case.
As President Obama said, Friday's deadly assaults weren't just an attack on Paris and the people of France, but "an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share." And as barbaric as the attacks were, the values of unity and solidarity began to assert themselves almost immediately. With the city still in chaos, the hashtag #PorteOuverte (or #OpenDoor) appeared on Twitter from Parisians promising safe haven to any who needed to get off the streets. There were many other small moments of compassion and cohesion -- people fighting back by standing together, choosing connection over isolation -- where the people of Paris reminded us that our greatest strength in maintaining a free and open society is to recognize our common humanity. Be sure to check out HuffPost's (and for those of you who speak French, Le Huffington Post's) on-going coverage of the attacks and their aftermath, including Anne Sinclair's powerful post.
This requires a collective effort between the U.S., Europe, Russia and key players in the Middle East to fight ISIS. Security and economic stability need to be restored in Syria, Iraq and surrounding regions.
Before jumping on the "tough on terrorism" bandwagon, candidates should reflect on the lessons learned in the 14 years since the 9/11 terror attacks, and consider what actually works to counter this global problem - and what doesn't.
However barbarically inhumane he may be, al-Baghdadi is not incoherent in relation to his long-term objective and the tactical and operational means required for its attainment. He wants the world outside the caliphate, including moderate Arab countries, to be struck down with massive social, political and economic chaos.
If there is probable cause to believe a detainee committed a crime, he should be sent to the United States for trial in federal court. The remaining detainees should be returned to their countries of origin or third countries if that is not feasible. After shuttering the prison camp, Obama should return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, its rightful owner.
The gravity of the moment demands nothing less than the president of the United States standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the elected leaders of the free world declaring that the free people of the world will not be intimidated by terrorism or by the death and violence that it has unleashed.