The federal government shutdown has made me sick of politics. For a political columnist, this can be tricky, but taking a break from politics also offers an opportunity. This week, I thought I would write a column about what I've learned as a father of two spirited boys, and offer my advice on how to handle tantrums.
Government's closed, everybody! Go home. Except Congress, that is, whose members are still getting paid, classified as "essential workers." Although right now, neither one of those words seems very apt or ept. Unapt and inept is more like it. Inapt? Unept?
On October 5, as part of their ceaseless demand that Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, illegal aliens and their advocates will hold a National Day of Dignity and Respect. Their goal is to achieve immediate legal status, with work authorization, and eventual citizenship. If successful, at least 11 million aliens would compete with Americans for the handful of available jobs.
Arrogance is like a cancer. Once it lodges itself in the heart and mind, there's not much you can do as it begins to permeate the entire body with an inordinate sense of self-worth, significance, and position.
Ted Cruz said he would go to Washington to change Washington. Well, he's done it. He's united Democrats and more than a few Senate Republicans in hatred of Texas' very junior senator and your new 2016 GOP frontrunner. But as much as Cruz sincerely drives me nuts, he might be the best thing that has happened to Democrats since the last big government shutdown.
There no longer lies any shame in obsession. Monomania reigns supreme in this country. Along with twerking. Once a month the local news features sports fans who have turned entire houses into shrines to their favorite team. We all know the conspiracy guy with his bootleg DVDs and liquid limber logic. Every neighborhood has at least one cat lady. And if you protest that your neighborhood doesn't, you may be her.
Welcome to a new chapter in our history, when we must now ask, "What is going on with these people who seem to get such a thrill out of posting selfies of themselves grinning alongside animals they have killed?"
"And They're Almost Off." Yes, the entrance to the 2016 Presidential Derby has officially been flung open wider than the gap between George Bernard Shaw and Pee Wee Herman. Backstage at the Bolshoi Ballet and the snack bar adjacent to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame gift shop. Horseshoes and mirrors.
Last week two prominent Ukrainian opposition figures were gunned down in broad daylight. They join as many as ten others who have been killed or committed suicide under suspicious circumstances just this year. These individuals have one important thing in common: they were either part of or friendly with the Yanukovych government, which a US-backed coup overthrew last year. They include members of the Ukrainian parliament and former chief editors of major opposition newspapers.
Pope Francis recently annoyed the Turkish government by making the politically incorrect observation that it had exterminated a generation of Christian Armenians. He used the word "genocide," which is something that the Turks have been rejecting for decades.
Should women serve in combat? Right now the military is answering that question with a final verdict scheduled to come down from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in January 2016. This will inevitably become a political question-and thus particularly useless in producing a satisfactory answer-but until then it's useful to understand that the military sees this question differently than you and I do.