The death penalty isn't perfect, but then neither are we. The botched execution last month in Oklahoma has raised legitimate questions about the secret sauce Texas uses on death row, and a lot of Texans still haven't gotten over the state-that is, us-executing Cameron Todd Willingham based on unscientific and discredited folk tales about arson. The Oklahoma incident in particular has caused many to re-examine the death penalty's use in Texas, but the problem isn't the process but the people who carry it out.
You wouldn't know it from all the perpetual doom and gloom in our media and culture, but we have nearly eradicated pollution in the United States. So much so that most Americans are blissfully unaware of how severely polluted the world was for all of human history up to the time of our grandparents.
In the bad old days, medieval German Lords figured out how to pocket some quick coin by charging a toll on the primitive paths meandering across their lands. The money wasn't used to improve the roads or better the lives of the peasants or clean the rivers their pigs pooped in but rather heighten the piles in their treasury. Even back then, you just couldn't have enough pewter candlesticks.
The idea of limiting the number of terms anyone can serve in Congress has been around for a long time, but recently I have heard it proposed as a solution to gridlock in Washington. It would almost certainly have exactly the opposite effect, but I've also got other reasons to be against term limits.
The Supreme Court struck down Obamacare's mandatory Medicaid expansion as an unconstitutional commandeering of the states, setting off bruising battles over the issue in state capitals. No place has been more brutal than Maine, where a liberal attack group actually sent out a mail piece criticizing Dale Crafts, a wheelchair-bound state legislator, because he "failed to stand up to Gov. LePaige."
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.
I had never really thought about such books existing, but the May 8 "Newsweek" reports that Amish romance novels are big business, accounting for as much as half of the inspirational fiction market and involving dozens of new titles each month.