Paul Ryan is now polling first in Iowa for the next presidential election. If Ryan is encouraged by this news, he is not much of a student of recent political history. Polling first in Iowa more than two years prior to the state's overhyped, first-in-the-nation caucuses is a bit like being told by the guy at the convenience store that the lottery ticket he just sold you is the winner. Take it with a huge grain of salt.
The year 2013 was a roller coaster of contrasts with some surprises. Here's a best and worst list:
With Democrats cratering in the polls over their collapsing health care law, they are trying to pivot to the only part of their policy agenda that still enjoys broad public support: the minimum wage. But their advocacy and its popularity rest on the incorrect belief that a significant number of families live on the minimum wage. Instead, the primary impact would be to exacerbate a crisis of youth unemployment spurred largely by the last minimum wage increase.
I'm turning into my father.
Like all certainties in life, rules in the Senate change. One of America's most glorified political theatrics, the filibuster, now only exists should the majority party choose.
(Editor Note: This Tyrades! column was originally published in December of 2004)
For farm and ranch families across Kansas, adding flexibility to our agribusiness laws represents a unique opportunity to access new markets, to diversify operations and to attempt a new strategy to invigorate rural communities and offer young people a rural alternative.
The whole world mourns Nelson Mandela. Rightly.
It was 73 and sunny, still two weeks before Thanksgiving, and I was stuck in traffic on the 405. Over the car radio a DJ on KOST-FM was extolling the "holiday spirit." Then he played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry - a song so old that it doesn't rouse spirits so much as it conjures ghosts of Christmas past.
If 2013 was a year of ups and downs, it was also a year peppered with ironies. Here are just a few:
For those who enjoy lowbrow political theater, it's Christmas come early. Steve Stockman, a Texas congressman so far to the right he's in danger of falling into the Gulf of Mexico, is challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the Republican Primary. Though Tea Party leaders were calling Texas' senior senator a "traitor" who "surrendered" on Obamacare, the conservative case against Cornyn is thin. Stockman's challenge demonstrates that nothing less than absolute faith is sufficient to survive in a radicalized Republican Party that no longer resembles the Party of Reagan, much less that of Lincoln.
Environmentalists and budget critics of California's proposed bullet train may be breathing a sigh of relief.
President Obama's "Mission Accomplished" moment: "We have met the goal" of fixing the Healthcare.Gov website.
A new study has come out that finds men and women really do think differently.
After losing the Virginia governor's race because single women voted for the Democrat by a margin of 42 points, Republicans have found the solution. They will teach their candidates how to, in Speaker John Boehner's words, "be a little more sensitive" to the ladies. But Republicans painting over policy differences with pretty words piles insult on top of offense and will do little to close the gender gap.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held up his hand, clenched his fist and given "half a peace sign" to the Ukraine, Europe and especially to President Barack Obama. And so the debate has begun:
Has it really been 10 years since I wrote a heartfelt letter to my newborn son, Gideon Lewis Tyree? (See my blog at www.dannytyree.blogspot.com for a collection of Gideon columns.)
Boy oh boy, the President of the United States is such a wimp!
In the state where high-stakes testing began, a few hundred teachers, academics and activists came together last weekend to hasten what one leader called an "Education Spring." The Network for Public Education gathered in Austin to plan the resistance to the status quo of high-stakes testing and an encroaching corporate privatization movement. This first-of-its-kind convention might finally provide an effective opposition to the corporate reform movement that wants to run education like a business.
There's a reason why American men drive big pickup trucks: Women dig them.
Early last month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott contradicted his core values by doing something that just didn't make sense unless you're one of those cynics who believes money corrupts politics. Abbott, a fan of states' rights and a foe of casinos, did a favor for Sheldon Adelson that appears to help casinos at the expense of the Tenth Amendment. In return, Abbott got almost $100,000 in political cash. Not everyone loses at the casinos.
Eighteen years ago, the Internet was a pretty different place. AltaVista had just launched in 1995 and was rapidly becoming the dominant search engine. The 56K modem was invented that year, but wouldn't be commercially available until 1997. And Congress passed the 1996 Telecom Act, with the rare foresight to largely insulate the Internet from government interference. The result has been the remarkable engine of innovation, growth, and expression that most Americans now rely on every day.
Alright. Woo-hoo. We're partying now. With the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sorting Phillips head screws from flat head screws, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer publicly vetoed SB 1062, legislation that would provide legal cover to businesses denying services based on the operator's religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat.
They're off and running for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination -- and as they run you can see the elephants' different styles.
Someone better send John Kerry a high school geography textbook.
Just as Jesus Christ caught the attention of friends and foes alike, the "Son of God" movie (debuting in theaters February 28) has something to pique the interest of people from all walks of life.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
It says here that Jeb Bush has the best shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, while Hillary Clinton might not be the Democrats' candidate - and if she is, she's no sure thing.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
We must stop them.