The Republican civil war has so many factions, you need a scorecard to sort them out - tea partyers versus the establishment; conservatives versus moderates; gubernatorial wing versus congressional wing; religious rightists versus tolerants - and even the despairing Republican National Committee, in its newly released autopsy of the '12 campaign, says the party is "driving around in circles on an ideological cul de sac."
When Air Force One touches down in Israel for meetings this week, President Barack Obama has his hands full. Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and Obama must convince Israel he is trustworthy before he can suggest to anyone that taking a preemptive strike against Iran is a lousy idea.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Thankfully the current revival of President Obama's Charm Offensive is not a theatrical production, because the reviews are decidedly mixed. Seeing him furiously pirouette around Washington for the last two weeks like a carnival contortionist makes you wonder if he might be secretly setting up a post-presidential career in a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil spin-off.
By the time you read this, the world's billion-plus Roman Catholics may have a new pope. And when the black smoke of Tuesday's indecisive first vote has turned to the white smoke of final decision, don't be surprised if the cardinals have chosen... a Catholic pope.
Imagine U.S. Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana attacking fellow Democrats Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal over their unconstitutional gun control proposals. Further, envision Manchin granting an interview with conspiratorial radio talk show host Alex Jones, during which the senator calls Feinstein, Schumer and Blumenthal "wacko birds." Picture the harrumphing that would emanate from the elite media...
Our own increasingly secretive Kansas Legislature continues to ponder bills that would curtail the release of what is now considered public information.
A national political star is born. Kentucky's' Republican Senator Rand Paul became the political Justin Beiber of libertarians everywhere and a role model for GOPers who want to grab media attention by staging a dramatic "talking filibuster." And, suddenly, Republicans who had steadfastly resisted the idea of bringing back talking filibusters were falling all over themselves to get involved and praise it.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Last week, Best Buy joined Yahoo to ban employees from telecommuting - a subject on which I am becoming an expert.
When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference next week in Washington, it won't be a keynote, it'll be a coronation. Sick of sellouts, movement conservatives have fallen hard for Cruz. The Red State blog dubbed him a "national hero" and a "great patriot" for his first two months in the Senate. Retired Sen. Jim DeMint vouched for Cruz as the real deal:
Some fancy-dancy public-policy think-tank just released a brand-new study that speculates the legion of aging baby boomers will permanently redefine retirement. Mainly because so few of us will be able to afford to retire. "Uh, lady, you want lids on these?" Fast-food break rooms equipped with CPR paddles. A forest of tennis ball-footed walkers leaning against the brooms and mops by the back door. Intra-generational minimum wage squabbles: "Hey you punks, get your greasy hot apple pie holes off my oxygen tank."
Senate Democrats are finally beginning the process of writing a budget after four years of dereliction. They will almost certainly include some changes to Medicare, the largest driver of federal spending and debt. But unfortunately, there are indications that they intend to focus on the small piece of Medicare (10.6 percent in 2012) that is actually working well: the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
International Women's Day is March 6 and is celebrated all through the weekend by many around the world. In the U.S., the day complements a month-long recognition of women through Women's History Month.
According to ABC News, you should probably get ready for a take-no-prisoners "This is your brain on nougat" campaign.
Apparently, you're pretty busy. I'm a little surprised that you have time to read the paper, frankly. And you're not alone. Only 36 percent of our countrymen bothered to vote in the midterm elections. A lot of people were busy that day.
President Obama is leaning heavily on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency, to change the Internet from a competitive, free-market service into a government-regulated public utility.
Did the election last week really mean that much? I took to my Twitter account on Tuesday to point out that the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.
So Jonathan Gruber thinks the American people are stupid, does he?
Usually when a burning issue arises, I feel compelled to squeeze every last drop of my own phrasing, logic and wit into this limited space.
What an amazing five years this has been!
So, that was fun. One minute we're promised a half dozen toss up races to determine control of the United States Senate, and the next Democrats are ducking under their desks as Massachusetts and Maryland elected Republican governors. Let the "Very Important Pundits" take turns on cable news assigning blame for the losses. I'm more interested in why the polls didn't tell us the wave was coming.
I admit it: I feel sorry for cigarette and cigar smokers these days. But changing fashions and the results of the recent election may offer them hope.