I remember when a billion used to be a number so big nobody could comprehend it, though it is still a massive number.
The federal government shutdown has made me sick of politics. For a political columnist, this can be tricky, but taking a break from politics also offers an opportunity. This week, I thought I would write a column about what I've learned as a father of two spirited boys, and offer my advice on how to handle tantrums.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Government's closed, everybody! Go home. Except Congress, that is, whose members are still getting paid, classified as "essential workers." Although right now, neither one of those words seems very apt or ept. Unapt and inept is more like it. Inapt? Unept?
Exclusive Excerpt from: "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" by Tom Purcell
On October 5, as part of their ceaseless demand that Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, illegal aliens and their advocates will hold a National Day of Dignity and Respect. Their goal is to achieve immediate legal status, with work authorization, and eventual citizenship. If successful, at least 11 million aliens would compete with Americans for the handful of available jobs.
Arrogance is like a cancer. Once it lodges itself in the heart and mind, there's not much you can do as it begins to permeate the entire body with an inordinate sense of self-worth, significance, and position.
Q: Is the government too big and powerful? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?
Ted Cruz said he would go to Washington to change Washington. Well, he's done it. He's united Democrats and more than a few Senate Republicans in hatred of Texas' very junior senator and your new 2016 GOP frontrunner. But as much as Cruz sincerely drives me nuts, he might be the best thing that has happened to Democrats since the last big government shutdown.
This bonus column was originally published in August of 2010.
I only make predictions that are easy. That's why they come true. I have no formula.
"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
There no longer lies any shame in obsession. Monomania reigns supreme in this country. Along with twerking. Once a month the local news features sports fans who have turned entire houses into shrines to their favorite team. We all know the conspiracy guy with his bootleg DVDs and liquid limber logic. Every neighborhood has at least one cat lady. And if you protest that your neighborhood doesn't, you may be her.
Forget the joke candidacies of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Forget Scott Walker and his constant attempts to link himself to Reagan. Forget Jeb Bush and his deep-pocket donors. Forget Marco Rubio, the candidate of the "future" who represents the policies of yesterday. Think not about Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson and Chris Christie and Mike Pence. Forget them all - at least for the moment.
Hillary's all in for 2016.
There is another round of Republican presidential primaries headed our way. Like before, a slew of candidates eagerly claim to be the end-all of American conservatism.
I stumbled upon my father's 1959 income tax return a few years ago. Oh, how I long for the simplicity he enjoyed when he filed his taxes that year.
Militarism and military spending are everywhere and on the rise, as the new Cold War propaganda seems to be paying off. The new "threats" that are being hyped bring big profits to military contractors and the network of think tanks they pay to produce pro-war propaganda.
The key to understanding Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is not that he is a fighter or that he is an unwavering ideologue. To highlight his intelligence points the spotlight in the right direction but misses the mark. The man can give a speech, but that's not quite the thing, either. The thing that explains Cruz, at least to me, is this: He is a debate nerd.
You know there's a problem with the Iran nuclear agreement when The White House releases a fact sheet to the press outlining the agreement, and Iran issues a statement claiming the fact sheet is false... within 15 minutes.
Since President Obama's first year in office, the federal government has been illegally using your federal tax dollars to pay lobbyists at the state and local level to lobby for tax hikes, zoning restrictions, and other nanny state policies that pick your pockets and limit your freedom. Every time a scandal breaks or Congress tries to crack down on abuses, the grant-making program changes its name and keeps on going.
Rand Paul's prospects of ever being president are on a par with the Philadelphia Phillies' odds of winning the pennant. If he somehow makes it to the Oval Office, I will personally climb Mt. Everest and chisel his curly locks into the rocks.
Texas stereotype shattered. Texas stereotype confirmed.
Justice has been done in Boston, but it's not finished.
Imagine if a doctor struggled to pay a small debt and as punishment the government took away his stethoscope. Or, if a ballerina owed money and was forced to surrender her toe shoes. Makes no sense, right?
Q. Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. What's the big deal?
Over the last several months, Marco Rubio has been mentioned by the national media so many times one might think he was just elected president.
The President of the United States of America announced a peace deal with Iran. It's been so long that American leadership in the world sought peace through diplomacy I forgot we had it in our foreign policy tool box. The last time that occurred to me was on a Spring Break trip to Arkansas, which, granted, is also not an idea that occurs to many people.