Monday September 01, 2014
April 2nd, 2014
In the context of talking about limits on free speech, it's common to say that your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. That seems like a sensible way to think about the freedom of religion case just argued before the Supreme Court: whether employers can be required to pay for contraceptive methods that would violate their religious convictions.
I know I shouldn’t be, but I am shocked by Americans’ laziness.
We look for the closest parking spot to the gym so that we don’t have to walk those extra few steps. We indulge in watching more cooking shows, yet actually cook less than ever. We invented the drive-thru.
Now, nearly one in five American coffee drinkers is too lazy to make coffee.
I admit it. I have been obsessed with the plane. Most of the stories I've read offered no new information, but I read them anyway.
In a way, I suppose, it is a relief to know that the 777, long considered to be an extremely safe plane, was not brought down by some as yet unknown engineering defect.
Let us pause now to pay our respects to Bunny Mellon. She died in mid-March on her Virginia horse-country estate. But no tears, please. Bunny — nobody called her by her given name Rachel — lived a long and rich life.
Very long. Very rich.
Some of you appear to be very, very worried about which party is going to win control of the Senate in November. Really, you should stop for a while. Take a break. No fretting about undecided voters until there's at least a minimal chance that the undecided voters know who's running.
Right now, we're in the season where center stage goes to whoever screws up the most. Relax and enjoy.
Not too many years ago, any news story about bonus money would’ve been about some 20-year-old baseball player — an up-and-coming superstar getting $100,000 or so on top of his salary as an extra incentive to join the Yankees, Giants, or whatever team.
Sportswriters dubbed them “Bonus Babies.” How quaint.
Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton's signature phrase, that those who "work hard and play by the rules" ought to be rewarded for their efforts.
It’s hard to get your mind wrapped around Russia’s annexation of Crimea and seizure of Ukrainian military bases there. It was — and many Ukrainians say still is — part of a neighboring sovereign country until mid-March.
And it seemed like Europe had transcended that kind of old-school warmongering.
Most political reporters have already written the script for 2016: Hillary Clinton announces she will run for president shortly after the mid-term elections of November 2014, Democrats clear the field for her, she romps unscathed through the primaries, crushes her hapless Republican opponent, and skates triumphantly into the White House, with former president, now America's first "First Gentleman," in tow.
As inequality has become an increasingly prominent issue in American discourse, there has been furious pushback from the right. Some conservatives argue that focusing on inequality is unwise, that taxing high incomes will cripple economic growth. Some argue that it's unfair, that people should be allowed to keep what they earn. And some argue that it's un-American - that we've always celebrated those who achieve wealth, and that it violates our national tradition to suggest that some people control too large a share of the wealth.