Wednesday September 02, 2015
April 16th, 2015
As Republican presidential hopefuls trot out their policy agendas - which always involve cutting taxes on the rich while slashing benefits for the poor and middle class - some real new thinking is happening on the other side of the aisle. Suddenly, it seems, many Democrats have decided to break with Beltway orthodoxy, which always calls for cuts in "entitlements." Instead, they're proposing that Social Security benefits actually be expanded.
The problem with most discussions of political polarization is that they reach quickly for technical causes and solutions. Our politics are polarized, we are told, because of gerrymandered districts, the rise of opinionated media sources and party primaries closed off to independents or voters in the other party.
New York and San Francisco are expensive places to live. That's a big problem for the nation because these cities are centers for the booming knowledge economy. High housing costs discourage this growth.
No doubt, you were as impressed as I was to learn that McDonald's had voluntarily adopted a pay raise for employees in its fast-food restaurants. Hey, they're not so bad after all, I naively thought. What an enlightened company. What generous and compassionate leadership. And what fools we all were.
One hundred and fifty years ago Thursday, after Union infantry effectively encircled the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee sent a note to Ulysses S. Grant proposing a meeting to discuss terms of surrender. With that, the Civil War began to end.
And at some point in the future, it may yet.
So here's my question: Why would a conscientious citizen ever again trust anything published in Rolling Stone? To me, the diligent professors at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism went too easy on the magazine's reporters and editors.
There’s one group of people in this country who probably get less sympathy than anyone else: felons.
If you’re a convicted felon, very few Americans care about your plight. Can’t find a job or an apartment because of your record? Too bad, we tell them, you shouldn’t have committed a crime.
The implosion of a Rolling Stone story describing an alleged rape at the University of Virginia has dealt yet another blow to the American press, which was already held in suspicion and low regard among much of the nation's reading public.
Rand Paul for president! Wow, we're awash with first-term Republican senators who feel the nation needs their services as leader of the most powerful nation on the planet.
Paul can also perform eye surgery, which is certainly a plus.
If President Obama had his way, Congress would simply keep its pesky nose out of the Iran nuclear deal. Given his critics' behavior, it's easy to understand such presidential bristling. Still, the better course -- and, more to the point, the unavoidable course, given Republican majorities in both houses -- would be for the Obama administration to switch from bristling to deal-making.