Which is harder to believe? The ludicrous shenanigans going down in Washington or the fact that nobody seems particularly interested in doing anything about them? Good neighbors -- it looks like we got ourselves one heck of a bumper crop of official dysfunction this year. Near as high as Manute Bol's eye.
Predictably, my column last week, which expressed my extreme displeasure at the images of World War II vets being barricaded from visiting their memorial on the National Mall, produced a flurry of reactions, both positive and negative.
"DEAR COLUMNIST: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say the government shutdown will last a long time, America will default on its debt and our economy and the world economy will nosedive. They say conservative Republicans are bullying the America political system and economy in way that doesn't fit with how democracy is defined in my history books. My father says President Barack Obama and the Democrats started it and want the government shut down and a default. Papa says 'If you see it on Fox News, read it on a conservative website, or if ...
Reasonable people compromise. Unreasonable people do not. Instead, they trample over those around them to selfishly get their way. And the government is shut down this chilly October day in 2013 because unreasonable Democrats behaving like spoiled children would rather refuse treatment to terminally ill children, ravage the economy, disparage veterans and make the rest of our lives miserable -- than compromise.
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?
Federal taxpayers spent a shocking total of $5.4 billion - with a B - on grants to establish what ended up being just 13 state Obamacare exchanges. In some states the failures have been spectacular enough to embarrass officials and imperil political careers, and in far too many places, Republicans who should have known better went along. It's an object lesson in keeping your fingerprints off the other party's very bad ideas, and should be front of mind not just if the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell sparks new Obamacare exchange fights in state capitals, but also ...
"Orphan" is a very empty word. It conjures up images of loss, of being rootless, of unwanted and untenable liberty. When I think of "Orphan," I think of something flying around in the great human universe, searching for its home.