HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
This is shaping up as a great season for media-watchers. Viewers still go on vacation, but news and entertainment media are busier this summer than ever before, giving us plenty to slice and dice.
Normally when the general public ponders Texas, a whole lot of big sky and rugged individualism and generosity of spirit springs to mind. The thought of progressive politics is probably farther away than Bedouin olive trays are to an armadillo. But that's exactly what's going on right now as the country's most heroic representatives try their darndest to protect the Lone Star State's most precious commodity. The lives of our precious yellow roses. Our lady folk.
For the first time since George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind, the House has passed a major rewrite of federal education law. On Friday, the House approved the Student Success Act along party lines-Republicans for, Democrats against-but the bill has little chance of getting past a Democratic Senate and a White House veto threat. Democrats in Washington don't trust the states to hold themselves accountable, and a recent audit of how Texas has mishandled a half billion-dollar contract with testing giant NCS Pearson shows why.
Despite all the caterwauling you hear about nepotism, rigged elections, waivers, loopholes, crony capitalism, foxes guarding henhouses, gerrymandered legislative districts, incompetent court-appointed attorneys, misleading negative campaign ads and government surveillance programs, we Americans are an alarmingly contented bunch.
In a better world we should never have been subjected to the Zimmerman trial.
Even on the hottest nights of the summer, my father knew how to make our house ice cold.
Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman trial has sparked national outrage, and rightfully so. And yet, with much of the focus on race, there is an accomplice to Trayvon Martin's death that has, to a surprising degree, escaped scrutiny and a seat in the dock- guns, and our lenient, permissive approach to them. The fact that it's a repeat offender makes matters even worse.
To understand why Texas' new anti-abortion law is an invasion of privacy, you have to know my friend. It's a sad story, and despite what Texas Republicans might claim, it has nothing to do with abortion. It does have to do with a woman's wellbeing, however, which is why his story is important.
In 2005, Senate Republicans floated the idea of altering Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominees. The proposal, dubbed the nuclear option, involved breaking Senate rules to change Senate rules. (The rules require a two-thirds vote for rules changes, but the nuclear option changes the rules by simple majority.) Democrats fought back against it furiously. Harry Reid led the fight, saying on the Senate floor: "I would never, ever consider breaking the rules to change the rules." Well, adjust your clocks to "never." Reid is now poised to execute the nuclear option.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
George Zimmerman's trial seemed to raise as many questions as it answered, but one thing was proved convincingly: television in courtrooms can have damaging effects.
According to the New York Times, the Oregon legislature has approved a bold remedy for student debt.
Nuclear efficiency systems engineer Jeremy Preston moved back into his house in Delaware from Tennessee, where his license to carry a concealed weapon was also legal in Delaware.
Here's something you should do if you haven't done so in a while: visit your mother and father and get out the old photo box.
How much should the government fine people whose children are deemed by (some) well-meaning bureaucrats as "obese?"
It was one year ago last weekend that a violent coup overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. That coup was not only supported by U.S. and European governments -- much of it was actually planned by them. Looking back at the events that led to the overthrow it is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its current, seemingly hopeless situation.
My oldest son is handsome, smart, and, in the words of my old boss Ann Richards, very nearly perfect. I love him boundlessly, so it hurts me to know that his homeland has been at war for every single day of his life except for a few months in 2001 when he couldn't yet crawl. Now he's shaving, and for the first time in his life he might get to witness a real discussion about going to war.
I'd advise you to sit down, pour yourself a beer and take a deep breath. You're about to hear something that will change your life. Forever. Are you relaxed?
Are you an unsung hero? Do those you encounter not appreciate the "real" you? Must you always having the last word?
Jeb Bush insists he's not his brother's keeper, but, alas, he's stuck being his brother's baggage schlepper.
Proponents of President Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the Internet insist they oppose content control. They even style themselves defenders of free speech. But there is a very serious risk that changing the Internet from an unregulated free enterprise into a heavily-regulated public utility will lead over time to content control.
Where does the Obama Administration find these people?
For President Obama and the unlawful immigrants he is determined to reward with work permits, social security numbers, and welfare benefits, last week was triumphant. As the congressional February 27 deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security draws closer, insiders learn with each passing day that Obama's executive action is much more expansive than originally presented.
Last week President Obama sent Congress legislation to authorize him to use force against ISIS "and associated persons and forces" anywhere in the world for the next three years. This is a blank check for the president to start as many new wars as he wishes, and it appears Congress will go along with this dangerous and costly scheme.
"Boy, here's something we could use more of today: unity among the American people. Americans are so divided."
What would it look like if politics stopped at the water's edge? It wouldn't look like the mess that John Boehner created by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a session of Congress on March 3. By allowing Netanyahu to stage what is effectively a campaign event in the U.S. Capitol, congressional Republicans have not only damaged our relations with Israel but threatened our diplomatic negotiations with Iran.
There was a time when Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) were respected.
It's kind of sad being forced to watch the death struggle of these modern-day dinosaurs. Responsible parents should keep their kids from peering over the Plexiglas railing into the tar pits below to see the huge lumbering antediluvian beasts frenziedly dig themselves deeper into the sticky morass that is gay marriage. Not a sight for the queasy or squeamish.
I'll tell you a little story about Bob Simon, the veteran CBS News correspondent who was killed Wednesday night in a car crash after having survived innumerable wars over five decades.