In order to function like a properly greased money machine, the GOP requires a chew toy. Something to snarl and wave and get a good growl on. Railing against easy-to-digest injustices is the perfect lubrication. Nuance - not their strong suit. This party calibrates with pitchforks and 55 gallon drums of oil.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott opposes universal pre-K, arguing that we should not spend tax dollars on unproven education methods. But earlier this month in rolling out the third plank of his education platform, he proposed doing even worse-spending more money on something we know doesn't work: K12 Inc., the country's largest online education company. We hold schools, students, and soon teachers accountable. It's time to hold purveyors of failure accountable as well.
Some 20 years ago, a 12-year-old boy on a trip to San Francisco was taken into a restaurant in Chinatown. He saw the menu, and in a loud voice said: "Chinese food? I hate Chinese food. I don't even like the Chinese!" Then he noticed all the Asians glaring at him. He was one of two non-Asians there.
It is with great disappointment, and no small amount of confusion, that I learned of the New York Post's recent decision to entirely drop the comics page from its publication. As the current president of the National Cartoonists Society, and being that the NCS is an organization of professional cartoonists among whose members are the creators of the majority of the comics that used to grace the Post's comics page, the reason for the disappointment is obvious. The confusion is another matter.
It's the kind of headline we used to see in Texas: The Florida Senate just passed the DREAM Act. Texas used to teach Republicans how to court Hispanic voters, but things have gotten so far out of control here that Texas is now making Florida look normal by comparison.
The Supreme Court decided last month that the only way a public official can be corrupted is if there is a quid pro quo transaction - I give you dollars, you in direct return do me political favors. If there isn't evidence of that kind of outright bribery, the Court said, it's not corruption.
In several eastern Ukrainian towns over the past week, the military opened fire on its own citizens. Dozens may have been killed in the violence. Although the U.S. government generally condemns a country's use of military force against its own population, especially if they are unarmed protesters, this time the U.S. administration blamed the victims. After as many as 20 unarmed protesters were killed on the May 9th holiday in Ukraine, the State Department spokesman said "we condemn the outbreak of violence caused by pro-Russia separatists."
Angry liberals are set to descend on the Federal Communications Commission to disgrace themselves by shouting down the proceedings. The lead group involved, Free Press, has sent out an invitation asking people to bring "pots, pans or whatever else you can bang on so the FCC hears our message loud and clear." Banging on pots and pans as an exercise in clarity? It gets better: "Together we'll dance, drum and shout that the agency must throw out its destructive plan and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. This is the only way to restore real Net Neutrality."
Operation Jade Helm has inspired a million jokes, and some of them have even been funny. But as much as comedians might jump on Greg Abbott for sending the Texas State Guard to monitor military exercises as the latest excuse to mock the reactionary rubes south of the Red River, Texas now faces an existential crisis: Is the Governor really this crazy?
As it appears we're smack dab in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign announcement season, this might be the perfect time to ask the question on every American's lips: what kind of twisted psychopath chooses to do this? Who are these people that are so all fired up to enter this soul-sucking fray just to sit in an Office that is oval? Masochists? Sadists? Sadomasochists? Masosadochists? Folks who didn't pay attention during any previous election?
Tuesday night I went through a crash course in what really matters, in humanity, in mortality. I was watching the news reports about the Amtrak derailment, and amid my secondhand anguish for injured strangers I thanked God, literally thanked him out loud, for the fact that my immigration hearing in Baltimore had been canceled. Had it not been, I might have been sitting in one of those mangled cars.
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.
I had never really thought about such books existing, but the May 8 "Newsweek" reports that Amish romance novels are big business, accounting for as much as half of the inspirational fiction market and involving dozens of new titles each month.
The baseball season is in full swing with the game's beloved sounds filling the air: the crack of the bat, roar of the crowd, clicking of knitting needles, and groans when an error is made, requiring several rows of yarn to be ripped out.
This week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's metadata collection program was not authorized in U.S. law. The PATRIOT Act, under which the program began, was too vague, the court found. But the truth is the Act was intended to be vague so that the government could interpret it in the broadest possible way.