A 6th grader in East Texas recently challenged state lawmakers to do what she and every other public-school kid have to do during testing season: "Sit in a room for up to four hours, without talking, writing, drawing, reading, or using your cell phone." Because millions of children are taking Common Core standardized tests this time of year, I did her one better. I took a 4th-grade English Language Arts practice test. The good news is I passed.
You might want to stuff your pants pockets with sand and hang onto the rail as the ship of state lurches towards the distinct possibility that the next election to command the helm will be between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. The brother versus the wife. Sounds like a probate lawsuit.
On April 13, 2005 the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 272 to 162, to permanently repeal the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. But in the ten years since, they have all but dropped the issue. A stunning 236 of the current members of the House have never had an opportunity to vote on it. Fortunately, the Ways & Means Committee under Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will soon consider a bill, H.R. 1105, written by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) that would repeal the death tax. House leadership should bring it to the floor ...
The country breathed a collective sigh of relief following Hillary Clinton's masterful press conference last week, held in response to the controversy surrounding her email troubles. "It's all fine. Don't worry about it. We got it covered. Easy peasy lemon squeezy."
The Republican opposition to striking a nuclear deal with Iran puzzled me, until my friend Truman explained that it's exactly like the famous tractor scene from Kevin Bacon's 1984 class movie, "Footloose."
As Iran continues to take an active role in helping Iraq fight the Islamic State group (ISIS), many neocons are upset that the U.S. military is not over there on the ground doing the fighting. They want Americans to believe that only another U.S. invasion of Iraq – and of Syria as well – can defeat ISIS. But what is wrong with the countries of the region getting together and deciding to cooperate on a common problem?
We all know that some people, for genetic or other reasons, experience depression more frequently and deeply than normal. At the other end of the spectrum are people like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who, despite having experienced painful losses and disadvantages that would understandably depress a normal person, achieve success and a life of remarkable accomplishment.
How would you like a free refund of your last three years' of taxes? A promise that you won't have to pay any possible back taxes or penalty? Would you have any objection if the IRS chooses not to ask for income verification?
This year marks the 20-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton's speech at the Fourth World Conference on Women titled, "Women's Rights Are Human Rights." It was 1995 when then-First Lady Clinton went to Beijing and challenged the world to see women's issues as not separate from the rest of humanity.
Senator Bob Menendez will soon be indicted on corruption and obstruction of justice charges stemming from his relationship with Salomon Melgen, a West Palm Beach eye doctor. Melgen thought he could get away with Medicare fraud because he gave Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's Super PAC $700,000 and lavished Menendez with private jet flights to his luxury resort. Given the known public facts, Harry Reid should return Melgen's money to the taxpayers he stole it from and should ask Menendez to resign.
On Friday, the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee U.S. involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act - limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.
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.