Thursday December 18, 2014
Archive - Feb 2014
A growing group of Ted Cruz's Republican Senate colleagues are infuriated with his tactics.
So frustrated was Arizona Sen. John McCain with the latest, forcing fellow Republicans to take a politically risky vote on lifting the debt ceiling, that Thursday he tweeted a Wall Street Journal editorial accusing the Texas lawmaker of instigating "needless drama that helps to explain why Republicans remain a minority."
As the usual suspects in Congress argue over whether to extend unemployment benefits, which ran out at the end of last year for more than a million jobless workers, I am feeling Germany envy.
Jobs in Germany fell more softly in the 2008 global economic crisis than they did here or in the rest of the European Union --and bounced back more quickly.
Is digital technology destroying middle-class jobs? Does it exacerbate income inequality? Does it boost economic growth and productivity - without creating the jobs that ought to come with economic growth?
Is it possible that the adults in Congress are finally taking over?
That prospect has reared its head in the decision of Republican leaders in both the House and Senate to back away from another threatened government shutdown, by swallowing an uncomplicated vote to raise the federal debt ceiling.
A week before the opening of the Olympics, 759 Pennsylvanians paid $25 each to participate in a sport that would never be a part of any international competition.
These Pennsylvanians carried shotguns, whistles, and electronic calls; most also used dogs to search out their prey.
Hillary Clinton is our national Rorschach test. What you see says more about you than it does about her. Whether the inkblot depicts a menacing monster or fluffy cloud depends on your pre-existing perspective.
I wasn't going to write about this. It's a movie I know too well. Matthew Hale, centuries ago, said that "rape ... is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, tho never so innocent."
Only the French could have an etiquette scandal.
Let Americans get in a lather over peccadillos of state. The French are lamenting the state of propriety. No one in the land of Napoleon is following the code. And it is putting the citoyens of this once luminous empire in a dark mood. They are less concerned about their president's slamming-door farcical adventures in amour than they are about the blow to their amour-propre. They fret that their image is more Feydeau than Rousseau.
Some of the smartest thinkers on problems at home and around the world are university professors, but most of them just don't matter in today's great debates.
The most stinging dismissal of a point is to say: "That's academic." In other words, to be a scholar is, often, to be irrelevant.