There's no shortage of publicity maestro, name-emblazer Donald Trump think pieces on the Internet these days. Most will attribute his straight talk to his more-than-likely-fleeting frontrunner status. Others point to some anger or racism the Trump Brand Name has tapped into. The rest? Apologists or denouncers. But all seem to agree that Trump is bad for the Republican Party; he's sucking all the air out of the nominee process. That some other alleged serious candidates won't get the attention they need because Trump is, well, trumping them.
Pop quiz: Which of the following was hatched in the mind of George Costanza? (a) The Center for Financial Stability, (b) The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, (c) The Hudson Institute, (d) The American Enterprise Institute.
For all those bemoaning the lack of noise in the Republican presidential sweepstakes, it's time to get down on our knees and give thanks to Donald Trump because whatever that man touches turns to loud. He's the gift that keeps on blaring. Has all the delicate innuendo of concrete curtain rods. Not just a loose cannon, more like a loose aircraft carrier.
Despite his penchant for counter-factual pronouncements, Ted Cruz is clever, educated, and aggressively intellectual. But he's not stupid, so when he defends Donald Trump for calling Mexican immigrants rapists, you know he's up to something. Right now, Trump is the frontrunner thanks to dominating the All Caps Vote, a constituency that Cruz wants for his own.
Last week's successfully concluded Iran agreement is one of the two most important achievements of an otherwise pretty dismal Obama presidency. Along with the ongoing process of normalizing relations with Cuba, this move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements.
The Senate may vote soon on an amendment by Democratic senator Dick Blumenthal that would make it illegal for dealers to sell any car with an open recall. That might sound good, but there's a huge problem: many recalls are for items as trivial as a printing error in the owner's manual, and when a part is simply unavailable, there's nothing you can do about it. The Blumenthal proposal would therefore effectively make it impossible for millions of Americans - finding their cars suddenly with little or no trade-in value - to buy a new car.
In all of America's 239 years of existence, only roughly 20 of them have been without warfare of some kind. And no, those are not in a row. We've had one or two years, here and there, where we haven't spent our time bombing foreign countries, bayoneting our brothers in hopes of keeping our slaves or invading Canada (that really happened, and more than once). We are a warring people. In the 219 years we've been raging and waging, we've managed to amass the largest military in the history of gatherings where people dressed alike.
Back on the Fourth of July, buried in the mumbo-jumbo of campaign rhetoric, was a statement by Democrat Martin O'Malley. The former Maryland governor said "patriotism" is rooted in helping others, and among those he singled out were people in prison.