Archive of Articles for May, 2013

Friday Talking Points [260] -- So You Think You Can Rant?

[ Posted Friday, May 31st, 2013 – 16:25 UTC ]

"You know, after watching the popularity arc of such Tea Party favorites as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, I can't help but wonder why they don't just skip over what appears to be the hardest part of becoming famous for them -- the part about serving in office. Why not just go straight towards being a media darling on the Right? The Fox network could get in on the action in a big way, and broadcast a reality show once a year to search the nation for the next Tea Party superstar. They could call it 'So You Think You Can Rant?' and hire Palin, Bachmann, and Donald Trump to be judges. I bet it'd be a ratings smash, personally."

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A Modest Tea Party Proposal

[ Posted Thursday, May 30th, 2013 – 16:31 UTC ]

Michele Bachmann has announced her retirement from Congress. I consider this good news for a very selfish reason: her name is just too easy to misspell. You're typing along, and where there should be a double letter there isn't... and then a little later there is one where there shouldn't be. It's annoying.

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What I Would Have Said To Eric Holder

[ Posted Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 – 17:29 UTC ]

Mister Attorney General, the reason I have such a problem with issuing warrants or subpoenas for news reporters is because I am aware of the history of the laws being used to do so. I have a hard time believing that you or your boss (a former constitutional professor) are completely unaware of these precedents in American history, but I haven't heard anyone else mentioning them, so I thought it fell to me to bring them up.

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Unpacking The Court

[ Posted Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 – 17:00 UTC ]

In one of their stunning (but regular) "up is down" leaps of illogic, the Republican Party is charging President Obama with "court-packing." In reality, they're just miffed that a Democrat is going to exercise his constitutional authority to appoint judges in the regular order of things. To call such actions "court-packing" is nothing short of laughable, to be blunt. In fact, the only hinkey business afoot is coming from Republicans themselves on the issue.

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From The Archives -- Memorial Day For Flu Victims

[ Posted Monday, May 27th, 2013 – 16:22 UTC ]

On a lonely hill outside the small town of Cobh, Ireland (pronounced: "cove"), is a mass grave marked by three somber headstones. As mass graves go, it's a fairly small one; holding not tens of thousands or even thousands, but merely a few hundred bodies. But the relative size of the grave on the scale of human misery is beside the point -- because while few, their deaths had monumental consequences for America. The dead were civilians, not soldiers (more on them in a minute). But their deaths deserve memorializing today just as much as those we remember who wore the uniform of our country. Because this is the final resting place of the people onboard the Lusitania.

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Friday Talking Points [259] -- Pivoting To Other News

[ Posted Friday, May 24th, 2013 – 17:21 UTC ]

Some weeks, not much happens in political news, and other weeks it seems like almost too much happens. This was one of the latter types of week.

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The Boy Scout's Gordian Knot

[ Posted Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 – 17:27 UTC ]

Boy Scouts, traditionally, have been associated with the tying of knots. Knot-tying has always been a part of scouting, and even today just about any Boy Scout would be able to tell you the difference between a square knot and a granny knot. But today, the Boy Scouts seem to be attempting to unravel a Gordian knot, instead.

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Immigration Reform Clears First Hurdle

[ Posted Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 – 16:22 UTC ]

A comprehensive immigration reform bill has been approved by the Senate committee responsible for immigration laws, and the bill will now move to the Senate floor. This is good news for people who want to see immigration reform, obviously, but the bill’s still got quite a ways to go before it reaches President Obama’s desk for his signature. There are, in fact, six more hurdles the bill will likely face, and some of them are dauntingly high.

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Where Are The Storm Cellars?

[ Posted Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 – 17:09 UTC ]

I hesitate to even write this column, because the disaster in Oklahoma is so fresh. And I will start by admitting my own complete ignorance on the subject at hand. This isn't a political column out to score points, and it should not be read in any way as insensitive to the victims of natural disaster.

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Obama's Teflon Presidency?

[ Posted Monday, May 20th, 2013 – 16:14 UTC ]

Is Barack Obama our nation's second "Teflon President"? The question has occurred to me before, but it became impossible to ignore after the last week of "Scandalgate." Even after multiple scandals all vying for the top headline throughout the week, over the weekend CNN reported poll numbers showing Obama currently enjoys 53 percent of the public's approval for the job he's doing. His numbers actually rose from the last time the poll was taken, when Obama was at 51 percent approval. That's pretty stunning news, after the week the president just had. Which is why it's now time to ask the question -- does Obama have the "Teflon" quality of having nothing stick to him, no matter what?

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