The Republican civil war has so many factions, you need a scorecard to sort them out - tea partyers versus the establishment; conservatives versus moderates; gubernatorial wing versus congressional wing; religious rightists versus tolerants - and even the despairing Republican National Committee, in its newly released autopsy of the '12 campaign, says the party is "driving around in circles on an ideological cul de sac."
When Air Force One touches down in Israel for meetings this week, President Barack Obama has his hands full. Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and Obama must convince Israel he is trustworthy before he can suggest to anyone that taking a preemptive strike against Iran is a lousy idea.
Thankfully the current revival of President Obama's Charm Offensive is not a theatrical production, because the reviews are decidedly mixed. Seeing him furiously pirouette around Washington for the last two weeks like a carnival contortionist makes you wonder if he might be secretly setting up a post-presidential career in a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil spin-off.
By the time you read this, the world's billion-plus Roman Catholics may have a new pope. And when the black smoke of Tuesday's indecisive first vote has turned to the white smoke of final decision, don't be surprised if the cardinals have chosen... a Catholic pope.
Imagine U.S. Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana attacking fellow Democrats Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal over their unconstitutional gun control proposals. Further, envision Manchin granting an interview with conspiratorial radio talk show host Alex Jones, during which the senator calls Feinstein, Schumer and Blumenthal "wacko birds." Picture the harrumphing that would emanate from the elite media...
A national political star is born. Kentucky's' Republican Senator Rand Paul became the political Justin Beiber of libertarians everywhere and a role model for GOPers who want to grab media attention by staging a dramatic "talking filibuster." And, suddenly, Republicans who had steadfastly resisted the idea of bringing back talking filibusters were falling all over themselves to get involved and praise it.
When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference next week in Washington, it won't be a keynote, it'll be a coronation. Sick of sellouts, movement conservatives have fallen hard for Cruz. The Red State blog dubbed him a "national hero" and a "great patriot" for his first two months in the Senate. Retired Sen. Jim DeMint vouched for Cruz as the real deal:
Some fancy-dancy public-policy think-tank just released a brand-new study that speculates the legion of aging baby boomers will permanently redefine retirement. Mainly because so few of us will be able to afford to retire. "Uh, lady, you want lids on these?" Fast-food break rooms equipped with CPR paddles. A forest of tennis ball-footed walkers leaning against the brooms and mops by the back door. Intra-generational minimum wage squabbles: "Hey you punks, get your greasy hot apple pie holes off my oxygen tank."
Senate Democrats are finally beginning the process of writing a budget after four years of dereliction. They will almost certainly include some changes to Medicare, the largest driver of federal spending and debt. But unfortunately, there are indications that they intend to focus on the small piece of Medicare (10.6 percent in 2012) that is actually working well: the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
International Women's Day is March 6 and is celebrated all through the weekend by many around the world. In the U.S., the day complements a month-long recognition of women through Women's History Month.