Saturday December 07, 2013
November 14th, 2013
Liberals don't expect Oklahoma to serve as a model of social policy. But, astonishingly, we can see in this reddest of red states a terrific example of what the United States can achieve in early education.
Every 4-year-old in Oklahoma gets free access to a year of high-quality prekindergarten. Even younger children from disadvantaged homes often get access to full-day, year-round nursery school, and some families get home visits to coach parents on reading and talking more to their children.
O.K., all you loyal readers, I’d appreciate it if you would “Put your hands together” for today’s commentary. I want you to “give it up” for me. But, most of all, I want you to “show me some love.”
If you’d like to stand and applaud enthusiastically, that’d be waaaay cool.
As Hollywood bowed down to Hillary Clinton, who swept through on a state visit with Chelsea on Friday, there seemed to be only one person here with any reservations.
"I want her to take a voice class," Sarah Silverman said, as she curled and uncurled like a cat on the gray couch of her modest West Hollywood apartment decorated with taped-up pictures of her family.
It's not as if Dick Metcalf was some kind of gun control fanatic.
On the contrary, he's a gun guy through and through, such an unyielding defender of the Second Amendment that last year he led the charge to push through a law giving the residents of Pike County, Ill., where he lives, the right to carry concealed guns without a permit. He called the practice "constitutional carry" rather than "concealed carry."
That's what it was called back in 1979, when Paul Tsongas, the freshman senator from Massachusetts, introduced a bill to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add sexual orientation to the list (which already included race, religion and sex) of things you couldn't (absent narrow exceptions) base employment decisions on.
It's been a tough week. Let's take a break and discuss the catfish inspection program.
Because New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states that choose their governors in the first year after a presidential election, much significance -- perhaps too much -- is ascribed to the results of this week's elections.
Tuesday's landslide re-election of Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the Garden State, and the narrower election of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Old Dominion, together are said to augur a decline of the conservative tea party and a swing back toward progressive politics.
This would be a good time to remember Karen Tumulty's brother.
As the health care debate raged In March 2009, Karen wrote a Time magazine cover story about her brother Patrick's insurance nightmare.
Patrick, then 54, had done what seemed to be the right thing. Then a $9-an-hour administrative assistant in San Antonio, he bought coverage on the individual market, diligently paying monthly premiums to Assurant Health for six years.
Five years and 11 months have now passed since the U.S. economy entered recession. Officially, that recession ended in the middle of 2009, but nobody would argue that we've had anything like a full recovery. Official unemployment remains high, and it would be much higher if so many people hadn't dropped out of the labor force. Long-term unemployment - the number of people who have been out of work for six months or more - is four times what it was before the recession.
The myths are already settling in from this week's elections.