Stories by Leonard
We are gathered here today to memorialize a man who revolutionized our lives.
So the people got sick of it, all those criminals being coddled by all those bleeding heart liberal judges with all their soft-headed concern for rights and rehabilitation. And a wave swept this country in the Reagan years, a wave ridden by pundits and politicians seeking power, a wave that said, no mercy, no more. From now on, judges would be severely limited in the sentences they could hand down for certain crimes, required to impose certain punishments whether or not they thought those punishments fit the circumstances at hand. From now on, there was a new mantra in American justice. From now on, we would be "tough on crime."
I promised Russell I would ask you something.
Twenty years ago today, my hometown burned.
‘Someday, my prince will come.”
If President Obama had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. So the president famously said.
Barack Obama himself has never had the guts to say it.
No, seriously, you have been warned. This is your last chance. Turn back now.
It begins with big drums, a guitar seesawing beneath like a deck rolling in high seas. It ends with a fuzz of static and feedback, a hiss of promises broken and a mortgage on the future.
Spin it any way you want. Justify it, rationalize it, chalk it up to the exigencies of war. And at the end, the fact remains:
If you think Rush Limbaugh is fatally wounded, think again.
Bob Morris is scared of Girl Scouts.
‘One of the worries we have obviously in the next campaign is that there are so many of these so-called super PACs, these independent expenditures that are gonna be out there, there is gonna be just a lot of money floating around and I guarantee a bunch of it’s gonna be negative.”
This was for us.
A picture, the saying goes, is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, we have only about 550 with which to appraise a picture that has raised eyebrows across the country: In it, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is seen wagging her finger in President Obama’s face during his visit to her state recently.
I got my first job when I was 12. The deacons at my church paid me $2 a week to keep it swept and mopped.
So here’s how it is:
We gather here today to parse the meaning of “boo.”
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Moral clarity is one of the most seductive traits of social conservatism.
This is not about your neighborhood.
A thin fragment of moon stood watch that Christmas Eve as the president of the United States and the prime minister of Great Britain came out onto the South Portico of the White House. They were there to light the national Christmas tree — and to speak a holiday greeting to an uncertain world.
A menacing crowd of protesters had encircled police and they had no choice but to defend themselves with pepper spray. Or at least that is the story campus cops at UC Davis initially told.
You likely remember the 3 a.m. phone call.
So they did the right thing. Belatedly.
Do you think it gives Clarence Thomas a warm, fuzzy feeling to know he is one of Ann Coulter’s blacks? That is how Coulter put it on Fox “News” while defending Herman Cain against sexual harassment charges that threatened to engulf his campaign last week. “Liberals,” she said, detest black conservatives, but the truth is, “our blacks are so much better than their blacks.”
‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” — Matthew 9:37
The Hermanator is now the hunted. Herman Cain, the long-shot Republican presidential-candidate-turned-front-runner, has done just about everything wrong since news broke that his former employer paid two women to settle sexual harassment complaints against him.
Eight years ago on a night in March, they interrupted our regularly scheduled programs for a breaking news bulletin. We sat before our televisions and watched rockets arc into the skies over Baghdad. Many of us had doubts about the stated and implied causes of the war that began that night: the need to secure Saddam Hussein’s stockpile of WMD and to retaliate for his part in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But, as I noted in a column, “We need for George Bush to be right and those of us who are doubtful to be wrong. We need this for the sake of over 200,000 American servicemen and women who stand ready for war in deserts far from home.” We all know how that turned out. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
‘"You say you want a revolution?" — the Beatles By one measure at least, the movement that began with Occupy Wall Street is already bigger than the Tea Party ever was.
So Chris Christie said no. This should not have been a surprise. The New Jersey governor has said “no” repeatedly when urged by Republican movers, shakers and donors to consider running for president. Last week’s last and final “no” theoretically puts the question to bed for good.
I have no beef with the student Republicans. Oh, I disagree with them about affirmative action, and probably a dozen other things as well. But I am not troubled — amused, but not troubled — by the way they’ve expressed their view. Unfortunately, others have been less sanguine.
This country is in a world of hurt if the likes of Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry wins the next election. It might be in greater trouble if Barack Obama does. I can take no credit — or blame — for that analysis. It originated with one of my colleagues, a veteran political reporter, and he shared it one day not long ago as we were chatting in the office. It troubles me for one simple reason: it makes sense.
2000: Frank Lee Smith is posthumously exonerated— he had died 11 months earlier — 14 years after being convicted of raping and murdering an 8-year-old girl. The eyewitnesses were wrong. 2001: Charles Fain is exonerated and set free 18 years after being sentenced to death for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a young girl. The scientific testimony was wrong.
On Aug. 26th, the case went to the jury and the waiting began. That’s what you do in a civilized country. You take the crime to court and look for justice.