Monday September 22, 2014
March 5th, 2014
The trend of abandoning Congress continues as its longest-serving member, Democratic Rep. John Dingell Jr. of Michigan, former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has announced he will retire. He is going out with a bang, remarking that he finds "serving in the House to be obnoxious" given its members' inability to work across party lines.
The development of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s made the car the preferred individual mode of ground transportation. This upended residential patterns, creating suburbs and exurbs, and relegated rail to the background.
Social and religious conservatives should have been the first to oppose the Arizona Legislature's effort to allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Partisans of the religious right apparently don't feel this way, but here's why they should: Pushing "conscience exemptions" beyond reasonable limits threatens a long-standing American habit of having government go out of its way to accommodate the commitments of religious people.
A Republican leader is doing something right ... and good. He is Rep. David Camp of Michigan. Camp has issued a detailed plan for simplifying the tax code. That's his duty as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law.
Everyone knows that the Obama administration's domestic economic agenda is stalled in the face of scorched-earth opposition from Republicans. And that's a bad thing: The U.S. economy would be in much better shape if Obama administration proposals like the American Jobs Act had become law.
"It's like 'Alien Invasion'! " exclaimed a Virginia mom with a 10-month-old baby on her hip.
She has been invaded three times. I've been occupied twice.
Pregnant women are mere hosts in the eyes of abortion rights supporters, according to Virginia state Sen. Stephen Martin, R-Chesterfield, who offered that description in a sarcastic Facebook post last week.
Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much these days, but if there's any point on which they should still see eye to eye it might be the federal earned-income tax credit. This cash supplement to wages, delivered in the form of a tax refund, was created during the Ford administration and has been gradually expanded under Republican and Democratic presidents. In 2012, it totaled $63 billion, paying an average of $2,300 to households containing 27 million people.
"My Brother's Keeper" has a much nicer ring than "Stop and Frisk." It also promises to be a more effective, less self-defeating way to address the interlocking social and economic crises afflicting young men of color.
"Blah, blah, blah, blah," said the speaker of the House.
Ohio Republican John Boehner, drawing out the words in a tone of ennui, was speaking about a new tax reform plan, and its comatose-on-arrival prospects.