One thing you can say about Republicans. They are focused. Like lasers. Or a puppy with a chew toy. Obamacare? No, sir. They don't like it. They don't like it so much, they have become interested in the Internet. They no longer refer to it as the interweb, riddled with tubes and tunnels and chutes and ladders.
Not every bad thing that happens to us is bad, long term. I've learned it well; some of life's biggest blessings arrive unexpectedly, wrapped in the most unsightly dressings. It's as if the alchemy happens in the waiting. And so it may be for the GOP, as they now get to witness certain Democrats, who supported Obamacare, paying a hefty price for their misdeeds. (And who says there isn't a God?)
While we watch the S.S. Obamacare sink beneath the waves, and while we watch the White House explain why its signature legislative "achievement" is not the titanic disaster we all knew it would be, I have some advice for my fellow Republicans.
The French daily Le Monde alleges that the US National Security Agency has spied on French diplomats in Washington and at the UN. I contacted my French informant, Pierre Le Paint, to learn more about the incident.
Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said you're either "moving forward with courageous reforms" and "piloting new and better assessments" (the graduate school term for "standardized tests"), or you're one of the "arm chair pundits who insist our efforts are doomed to fail." Duncan exposed his own fallacy when he said, "Many people in the real world, outside the beltway and blogosphere, have tuned out this debate." Actually, the opposite is true. In the birthplace of the legislative dumpster fire known as No Child Left Behind, most Texans are lining up against test-driven reforms.
Students are protesting standardized testing. Parents are refusing to let schools give their kids the tests. Teachers are refusing to administer the tests. School boards are begging for relief from testing mandates. That's all nice, say the dwindling number of defenders of linking accountability to standardized testing, but if we got rid of tests what would you replace them with?
Now we bore deep into the bunker that houses the triumphant Tea Party headquarters, where they are celebrating a tactical victory over the forces of complacency and complaining loudly about all the chicken-hearted Republicans In Name Only who bowed to the will of our socialist president, and voted to reopen the government and avoid a global financial meltdown.
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.