Wednesday August 20, 2014
March 20th, 2014
Religion makes a lot of mistakes.
Faith traditions can be so harsh that they drive away everyone but the self-righteous scolds. Or they can so indulge in therapeutic comfort and manufactured joy that they come to seem like a charlatan's game.
Disapproving of white urban liberals can be a career for right-leaning sociologists. A decade or two ago, their story was that the American future lay in fast-growing exurban counties, with their cheap land and virtuous Republican voters.
Now that many American cities have become the hot, hot, hot place for jobs and ambitions, the story has to be rewritten.
House Democrats seem to have fallen in love with the discharge petition this year. A rarely used - and almost never successful - procedural gambit, the discharge petition allows a bill to move out of committee and onto the floor if it is signed by a majority of House members. Conventional wisdom holds that Democrats are using discharge petitions to score political points in an election year, which is true. But by doing so, Democrats are also creating an opening for Republican centrists to make themselves more relevant - and Congress more functional.
With March designated as Women's History Month it seems appropriate to recognize more than one column could do. In fact, there are so many women heretofore given little, if any, recognition one would have to have a column every day of the month to even begin. Their stories simply have not been told in the society geared to the history of military, government, professions and others limited largely to males.
Truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction. We found that out again this week. Not even John le Carre or Daniel Silva could write a spy novel as multi-leveled, complicated, and unpredictable as the plot unveiled by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Congratulations, taxpayers! Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies whose September 2008 bailout set off a financial fireball, just repaid you in full. You even made a small profit from your $187.5 billion loan.
The companies are throwing off torrents of cash as once- debased assets recover value in the housing revival. So more payback is coming, right?
Tesla Motors, the California-based electric-car start-up, is anything but an epitome of American-style free-market entrepreneurship.
Its Model S performed and sold better than many critics, this one included, expected. Ditto for its stock price, which is more than $240 per share, though the company's market capitalization of nearly $29 billion - half that of Ford - strikes many critics, this one included, as unsustainable.
Democratic strategists were particularly dismayed at the loss of their congressional candidate, Alex Sink, in Tuesday's special election in Florida's 13th congressional district, fearing it might be seen as foretelling doom for the Obama presidency, with nearly three years still to run.
Four years ago, some of us watched with a mixture of incredulity and horror as elite discussion of economic policy went completely off the rails. Over the course of just a few months, influential people all over the Western world convinced themselves and each other that budget deficits were an existential threat, trumping any and all concern about mass unemployment. The result was a turn to fiscal austerity that deepened and prolonged the economic crisis, inflicting immense suffering.
I wrote a few paragraphs of this column between school drop-off and an appointment. I sent a bunch of emails between making dinner and taekwondo. Bedtime reading with the kids, then more writing at 1 a.m., after a few hours of sleep. Then back up at 4 a.m. to write and sign up for summer camp.
There's a name for this. It's called "time confetti." It's miserable. And it's part of why we are all Overwhelmed.