Archive

Date

July 9th, 2014

Where does the buck stop?

    Some elections are contests between voters who are happy and voters who are not. This fall's elections are of a different sort: Since almost all the voters are unhappy with politics, the battle will be over which party gets the blame for dysfunction, inaction and disillusionment.

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Where Goes Jazz as the Greats Move On?

    A jazz great died this month. Though revered by fans around the world, Horace Silver is not a household name in his own country, where the popular taste tends more toward rock and country than it does toward jazz. Silver's most widely recognizable tune, "Song for My Father," is recognizable mainly because the rock band Steely Dan used it in the opening riff of one of their biggest hits, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number."

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July 3rd

Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas

    Two years ago Kansas embarked on a remarkable fiscal experiment: It sharply slashed income taxes without any clear idea of what would replace the lost revenue. Sam Brownback, the governor, proposed the legislation - in percentage terms, the largest tax cut in one year any state has ever enacted - in close consultation with the economist Arthur Laffer. And Brownback predicted that the cuts would jump-start an economic boom - "Look out, Texas," he proclaimed.

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From 9/11 to BP to GM

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Hillary is not finished

    In politics, as in many endeavors, it helps to be underestimated. In this sense, Hillary Clinton is doing great.

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Life experience and judging

    How did the Supreme Court manage to agree unanimously that police must obtain a warrant before searching cellphones, yet split on whether employers must offer contraception as part of their health care plans?

    My explanation, slightly crude but perhaps compelling: All the justices, presumably, have cellphones. Only three have uteruses, and you know which way they voted.

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My Head's Exploding

    W. cut off Dick Cheney.

    Why can't we?

    Who would have thought that Iraq imploding would give the mountebanks who tricked us into war a chance to rear their heads and seek rehabilitation - somehow grabbing onto the hellish spiral as proof that they were right in their original wrongness?

    But, then, they did always create their own reality spun from grandiosity.

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Was Cochran's Win Good for Blue America?

    From the happy reports, you'd think that liberals had only to celebrate the tea party's recent Mississippi defeat. True, Sen. Thad Cochran's winning strategy -- reaching out to Democrats, in particular African-Americans -- made for an especially gratifying runoff victory.

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Why the Fate of Ukraine Matters

    You can't make this up. The Guardian reported on Sunday that Ukrainians have crowdfunded the first "people's drone" to help their army stem infiltration by Russian-supported rebels in Ukraine's eastern provinces that border Russia.

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A 'narrow' decision from the narrow-minded

    Relax. This is not a slippery slope.

    So Justices Samuel Alito writing for the majority and Anthony Kennedy writing in concurrence, take pains to assure us in the wake of the Supreme Court's latest disastrous decision. The same august tribunal that gutted the Voting Rights Act and opened the doors for unlimited money from unknown sources to flood the political arena now strikes its latest blow against reason and individual rights.

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