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Archive

Date

April 2nd, 2014

A Nation of Takers?

    In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of "takers."

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Behind The American Oligarchy

    Let's put it this way: If the Koch Brothers were Russians, we'd call them oligarchs: grasping barbarians exercising crude political power.

    But this is America, where tycoons can buy respectability by throwing money at their wives' favorite ballet companies and museums. Also by funding "think tanks" staffed by "resident scholars" keen to enhance the boss's fondest delusion: that great wealth invariably conveys great wisdom.

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Hobby Lobby doesn't have religious rights

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Let's concentrate for a moment on the "Inc." part.

    Hobby Lobby is a for-profit corporation selling arts and crafts. It is asking the court to declare that its religious beliefs are violated by the Affordable Care Act's mandate that health-care insurance provided by employers include contraception.

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News candy for the ears

    If television is chewing gun for the eyes, as an old saying goes, the Malaysia Airlines mystery plane has turned cable television news into candy for the ears.

    The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared with 239 people on board, far exceeds the facts available to explain it. That puts 24/7 cable TV news broadcasters in a bit of a pickle. The public is hungry for more news than news providers have available.

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Slippery Slopes Before The Court

    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.

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The High Price of Laziness

    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.

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The Plane

    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.

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The Power Politics behind a Long, Gilded Life

    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.

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The Season of the Twitch

    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.

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Wall Street’s Bonus Inflation

    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.

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