Saturday January 31, 2015
October 2nd, 2014
Last week John Boehner, the speaker of the House, explained to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute what's holding back employment in America: laziness. People, he said, have "this idea" that "I really don't have to work. I don't really want to do this. I think I'd rather just sit around." Holy 47 percent, Batman!
Is the country condemned to another two years, at least, of gridlock?
The world-weary take on the midterm elections is an indifferent shrug. Whether Democrats control the Senate or Republicans, nothing will be accomplished anyway, this apathetic argument goes.
"I am the target of what is probably the most well-funded corporate retaliation campaign in U.S. history," Steven Donziger emailed me early Monday afternoon.
The low point of the Obamacare debate -- and there was much probing of the floor -- had to be the "death panel" charge. It was the creepiest in a volley of lies aimed at killing health care reform.
What was the fuss about? A proposal to pay doctors for time spent talking to patients about the kind of care they wanted in their last days. Such conversations would be entirely voluntary.
In and around Rome, the talk is of Pope Francis' sage acceptance of the 21st century, of his empathy, of his departure from the stern moralizing on matters of the heart that his predecessors engaged in.
In Montana, a gay couple who have been together for more than three decades have been told that they're no longer really welcome in the Catholic parish where they've been worshipping together for 11 years.
One of the most fascinating events I’ve ever experienced was a climate conference several years ago at the University of Texas.
There I observed the constant struggle between science and the special interests that have but one task to achieve: seed doubt about the science.
Imagine that all women in the Unites States, upon becoming sexually active, were automatically fitted with an intrauterine device or other form of long-acting birth control. This scenario sounds creepy, with its undertones of Big Brother and eugenics; framed this way, it would be neither a realistic nor desirable development.
On Miami Beach, rising sea levels have interesting consequences. The ocean periodically starts bubbling up through local drainpipes. By the time it's over, the concept of "going down to the water" has extended to stepping off the front porch.
It's becoming a seasonal event, like swallows at Capistrano or the return of the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio.
Back in the spring, an Asian tragedy fleetingly made headlines when an overloaded ferryboat sank on its way to South Korea’s Jeju Island. Nearly 300 people aboard the Sewol ferry perished, mostly children.
We’ve been hearing way less about the tragedy unfolding on the island that was supposed to be their destination.