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.
A hundred years ago, business tycoon Samuel Insull consolidated smaller utility companies to form the behemoth (albeit public charity-sounding) Commonwealth Edison. Because of the infrastructure needed to provide energy to an increasingly power-hunger public, Insull and others argued that Commonwealth Edison was a natural monopoly; inherently one company had to dominate the market. This battle cry enabled a mere 10 utility systems to control three-quarters of the nation's electricity business by the time FDR was in the White House, subjecting consumers to higher rates with absolutely no competition save candles.
What compromises must we make when it comes to our security on the one hand, and our privacy on the other? Personally, I'm far less concerned about being tracked by the National Security Agency than I am about being monitored by, say, Google.
Trust ain't what it used to be in America.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
When I came to, I was on my back on the floor of my accountant's office.
Apple CEO Tim Cook should know better than to freak out over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). His company was also the victim of media alarmism and hyperbole.
The president was talking to America's enemy, extending his hand in the interests of peace, and the war hawks were going nuts. One conservative leader assailed "a weakened president, weakened in spirit as well as in clout." Another conservative leader denounced the president as "a useful idiot for (enemy) propaganda." A top conservative columnist lamented the president's "moral disarmament."
Next to Interstate 15, about 45 miles south of Las Vegas, sit three mysterious structures that look like gigantic table lamps giving off blinding light.
March Madness hit Indiana hard this week.
When we were teenagers, my "the South's gonna do it again" younger brother bought into some weird conspiracy theory that Gen. Robert E. Lee didn't really surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Lee supposedly thought he was merely handing his sword over to someone for cleaning. (The deniers who concocted the theory apparently also believed that Europeans never really landed in the New World but just filmed it out in the desert somewhere.)
Ah, springtime has finally arrived in Washington, D.C.
For decades Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to impose new energy taxes. They do not, to put it mildly, have the support of the American people. So they have turned to increasingly complex schemes to pretend the taxes they are advancing are not taxes. They've now reached an unprecedented level of obfuscation: a federal regulatory agency acting without Congress to coerce states into imposing regulations that will bury cost increases in the electricity rate base - and they might get away with it. Congress should therefore act immediately to, if they can't stop what is happening, at least ...
Does everyone remember Angela Corey?
A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between $17 and $40 billion to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the U.S. government.
"America and the West have a historic opportunity to negotiate a nuclear agreement that will promote peace in the Middle East and the world. It will give your country, Iran, a brighter future. What do you say to that?"