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.
New York City's politics has now gotten more titillating. First came news that Anthony Weiner, the Democrat whose crotch-shot sexting to a woman he never met led to his resignation from Congress, was running for mayor. Now comes the news that former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, who resigned due to his involvement in a prostitution scandal, is running for city Comptroller.
Overseas the Arab Spring is turning into the Arab Nightmare that everyone but the Obama administration always saw coming.
Obama has failed to help defeat islamists in Syria, leading to the growth of The Islamic State (The Radical Islamist Murderers Formerly Known as ISIS) and fails to define a foreign policy for the U.S.
If you're frustrated by the skimpiness of "fun-size" candy, wait until you hear some "fun-size" songs.
Men might be from Mars and women from Venus, but at least we're in the same solar system. When it comes to politics, liberals and conservatives can't agree on what the problems are much less solutions. We can blame the politicians for not making progress on the big issues of our time, but until Americans share a common truth about what those issues are we won't move an inch.
Since 1998 it has been prohibited by federal law for states and localities to tax Internet access. This policy, known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act, has been extended three times with broad bipartisan support. But it is set to expire again on November 1, and some Senate Democrats appear willing, this time, to allow it to actually expire if they can't use it to leverage an unrelated tax issue. It's a dangerous game that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars and worsen the digital divide by pricing some lower income Americans off of the Internet entirely.
It takes a special kind of jerk to market fear and exploit public ignorance in the midst of a health emergency - and, sure enough, members of this repellent American subspecies are already flapping their yaps.
Get this: Low expectations are the key to happiness.
The problem with a lie-even one that everyone agrees with-is that eventually you can't ignore the truth. Enron can't paper over debt and crashes. The housing bubble pops. Now, as the rush towards using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers turns into a retreat, it might be time to face that standardized tests are a lousy way to hold schools accountable.