So it's the end of the year, meaning it is time once again to check into the news from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, in order to see the venerable Lake Superior State University's annual "banished words list." For those new to the concept, this is a list of words and phrases which have become so downright annoying that they deserve banishment from casual conversation (whoops, I've now used two of them in this opening paragraph).
Archive of Articles for December, 2015
That's a fairly depressing headline to wind up 2015, I fully realize. However, I've been noticing that Democrats -- all the way up to and including Hillary Clinton herself -- seem to be awfully complacent about the possible outcomes of next year's presidential race. This could be dangerous, because nothing in politics is ever written in stone, and this election cycle has been more unpredictable than most already. While most people inside the Beltway are slowly wrapping their minds around the concept that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination, the conventional wisdom is that if the race boils down to Trump versus Clinton, the foregone conclusion will be Hillary handily defeating The Donald in the general election.
America is at war, but it is sometimes hard to tell. Granted, we're in a very limited sort of engagement, but even so the media has largely fallen down on the job of keeping Americans up to date with the war's progress. It's a very slow war, and the media much prefers "shock and awe" style war, to be sure. Even so, the fall of Ramadi should be a lot bigger news than it currently seems to be.
Sometimes, figuratively speaking, all the money in the world can't change a political outcome. This very idea runs counter to all the dire warnings about money's corruptive influence on American politics, of course, but it makes it no less true -- at least in certain situations. For all those that decry politicians who "buy" elections, sometimes outright attempts to do so are met with nothing more than sheer indifference from the voters. I have no idea what this means in the grand scheme of things, but when it happens it's certainly worth noting.
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!
[Program Note: Due to the foreshortening caused by the calendar, I wasn't able to write a new column today. Instead, I've been working all day to get tomorrow's column ready, which will be the "Part 2" of our year-end awards columns. That will be it for this week, I might add, so here's wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend. In any case, check back tomorrow for the final 2015 awards, and for now, here's a fun Christmas column I wrote in my second year of blogging.]
Today's article has two separate and unrelated parts, I should begin by saying. The first looks at the Republican presidential nomination race, and the second concerns Hillary Clinton and foreign policy. It's impossible to provide any smooth linkage or segue between the two (as the strange headline to this article pretty much proves), so I thought I'd point this out before I begin.
Welcome to our year-end awards columns!
I'm busily putting together the first installment of our year-end "best/worst" lists, and so am unable to write an original column today. Tune in tomorrow to see the result. For now, please enjoy the following, where I uncover a worldwide conspiracy that each and every one of you has participated in at one point or another in your lives. Yes, you! You're a co-conspirator just like all the others....
It's that time of year when Congress actually gets things done, so they don't have to work through the holidays. This is always a powerful incentive, and this year is no different. Paul Ryan actually bargained with Democrats instead of following the hotheads in his party into another government shutdown, which bodes well for the future of the House of Representatives (and America at large). But, as with all big omnibus budget bills, this means all kinds of unrelated issues -- from health care for 9/11 first responders to whether we export oil or not -- are tossed into the giant, must-pass bill. And along with the wave of other single-issue items came some good news for marijuana legal reformers.