Give Donald Trump this much: he knows how to play the media like a violin. If I had half his business brain I'd send him a bill for this column, because every time a serious journalist treats his campaign seriously it feeds his coffers.
Last week we saw an encouraging sign that the 50 year cold war between the U.S. and Cuba was finally coming to an end. President Obama announced on Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and that embassies could be re-opened in each country by the end of the month.
Every year, it's with a gleeful relief we embrace Independence Day, which marks the beginning of dead solid summer. The Fourth of July is a red white and blue arrow to the bulls-eye of patriotism when we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our country by packing together in crowds, drinking a lot of beer and blowing stuff up real good.
I did a lot of soul searching last week, trying to figure out why the legalization of same sex marriage has administered such an emotional sucker punch to my solar plexus. Some would say it's because I'm a bigot, and a bigot is never ready for the sea change that annihilates her bigoted world view. Others, including my caring and cautionary friends, have said that they understand how difficult it must be to see my concept of constitutional integrity ignored and displaced by that branch of government that represents the pinnacle of my profession, my secular Vatican, as ...
The Republican brand is that they're on the side of business. "Corporations are people, my friends," uttered doomed 2012 presidential candidate, CEO-turned-Massachusetts-Governor Mitt Romney. At the time I assumed what he actually meant was, "Corporations are my friends, people."
My father grew up in rural Texas during the 1930s. He childhood featured dirt roads, a hand-crank telephone and outhouses. Most, if not all, of the bathrooms the Shannons constructed were what is termed a "one-holer."
Since its reintroduction on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in 1961 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the Confederate flag has been the source of controversy with a regularity approaching that of a Madonna comeback album. Sadly, it has been thrust into the news once more because some kid who loved it went crazy and committed an atrocity. A racially charged atrocity. Yes. Again.
I salute...the editor of a colonial newspaper who shut down his paper rather than pay the Stamp Act tax of 1765; his last edition proclaimed liberty as "the greatest blessing human beings can enjoy"and taxation without representation as being "fettered with the chains of inimical servitude."
For all those bemoaning the lack of noise in the Republican presidential sweepstakes, it's time to get down on our knees and give thanks to Donald Trump because whatever that man touches turns to loud. He's the gift that keeps on blaring. Has all the delicate innuendo of concrete curtain rods. Not just a loose cannon, more like a loose aircraft carrier.
Despite his penchant for counter-factual pronouncements, Ted Cruz is clever, educated, and aggressively intellectual. But he's not stupid, so when he defends Donald Trump for calling Mexican immigrants rapists, you know he's up to something. Right now, Trump is the frontrunner thanks to dominating the All Caps Vote, a constituency that Cruz wants for his own.
Last week's successfully concluded Iran agreement is one of the two most important achievements of an otherwise pretty dismal Obama presidency. Along with the ongoing process of normalizing relations with Cuba, this move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements.
The Senate may vote soon on an amendment by Democratic senator Dick Blumenthal that would make it illegal for dealers to sell any car with an open recall. That might sound good, but there's a huge problem: many recalls are for items as trivial as a printing error in the owner's manual, and when a part is simply unavailable, there's nothing you can do about it. The Blumenthal proposal would therefore effectively make it impossible for millions of Americans - finding their cars suddenly with little or no trade-in value - to buy a new car.
In all of America's 239 years of existence, only roughly 20 of them have been without warfare of some kind. And no, those are not in a row. We've had one or two years, here and there, where we haven't spent our time bombing foreign countries, bayoneting our brothers in hopes of keeping our slaves or invading Canada (that really happened, and more than once). We are a warring people. In the 219 years we've been raging and waging, we've managed to amass the largest military in the history of gatherings where people dressed alike.
Back on the Fourth of July, buried in the mumbo-jumbo of campaign rhetoric, was a statement by Democrat Martin O'Malley. The former Maryland governor said "patriotism" is rooted in helping others, and among those he singled out were people in prison.
When I heard the news about the nuclear deal with Iran, I decided to seek out the sage wisdom of Scott Walker. Because surely, with his vast national security experience - fighting unionized workers, lobbying for a Milwaukee Bucks arena, running a state that ranks 38th in the nation in job creation - he would know what's best for America on the world stage.
You can lead a Senator to water, but you cannot make him think. Benjamin Netanyahu's bellicose bellyaching notwithstanding, getting Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions makes the world safer, is broadly popular with the American people, and is the crowning achievement of an American-led foreign policy in a messy, post-9/11 world. But if this good deal is to become a real deal, first Kerry and his boss must get it past the numbskulls they used to serve with in the United States Senate.