Thursday December 05, 2013
Archive - Jul 2013
We're decades past the Cold War years when the two leading nuclear powers of the day, the United States and the Soviet Union, talked freely about their MAD strategies, which stood for Mutual Assured Destruction in any nuclear-weapons exchange.
Have you heard about "libertarian populism" yet? If not, you will. It will surely be touted all over the airwaves and the opinion pages by the same kind of people who assured you, a few years ago, that Rep. Paul Ryan was the very model of a Serious, Honest Conservative. So let me make a helpful public service announcement: It's bunk.
Self-delusion is a sad spectacle. Watching Republicans convince themselves that killing immigration reform actually helps the GOP is excruciating, and I wish somebody would make it stop.
We Americans like to think of ourselves as a forgiving people, willing to turn the other cheek to offense in the interest of getting on with life. Although the most conservative of us rail against "amnesty" in its many forms, we actually practice it repeatedly.
If you want to alleviate worries about the economic impact of immigration reform, increase the minimum wage. If you want to reassure communities that bear the highest costs from large-scale immigration, revisit a proposal from 2006 by a senator named Hillary Clinton to help state and local governments cover some of the expense of providing health care and education to undocumented workers.
Every Fourth of July, somebody reminds us there's more to this national holiday than hotdogs and fireworks. Take time over the weekend, we are piously admonished, to remember what it's all about. Annoying advice, perhaps, but important. And, this year, more so than ever because one of our most basic rights is under attack.
Of course it's amnesty. The whole point of comprehensive immigration reform is to bring 11 million undocumented men, women and children out of the shadows, which means giving them some kind of legal status, which amounts to amnesty. Otherwise, why bother?
The political football of health care insurance, supposedly taken off the playing field in 2012 by the Supreme Court decision declaring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional, is being kicked around again.
Evan Wolfson received a "B" on the law school paper that helped change the world.
It was 1983 and Wolfson, submitting the paper required of all third-year students at Harvard Law School, had chosen a topic -- constitutional protection for same-sex marriage -- seemingly so far-fetched that some of the distinguished scholars he had asked to serve as faculty advisers declined.
Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, who rocketed to fame by filibustering the Texas legislature for 11 hours over abortion rights, reminds me of Ginger Rogers. I mean that in a good way.
Rogers famously did everything that her great dance partner Fred Astaire did, as the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards, among others, used to say; "She just did it backwards and in high heels."