Back in the winter, Republicans were perfectly happy to let the sequester happen. They hewed to their math-challenged belief that Washington could slash the budget deficit by taking an axe to entitlement programs, preserving or hiking defense spending, lowering tax rates, and foregoing any new revenue. And if the Obama administration refused to go that route, Republicans were fine to let the sequester kick in on March 1 - as mandated by the 2011 deal between the parties.
Since incumbent Republicans are in favor of gay marriage, it's clear-gays are out. Recently Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) have endorsed marriage equality. LGBTs are no longer that group Republicans can win elections by promising to keep them away from us. The GOP swore to protect marriage and on their watch the altar was altered anyway. Now the party of Lincoln is gay-friendly, or at least not as successfully gay-hostile.
Forget the robin. Ignore the tulips. Do not let the Easter Bunny, hummingbirds or awakening bears hoodwink you. The first baseball thrown in anger is the true harbinger of spring and calendar alarm for the lazy discard of the heavy encumbrances of winter. Ditch the parka and pull out the windbreaker. Stash the boots and burn the long underwear. Trust me. Burn the long underwear.
Traditionally it's the Hollywood celebrities with a cause who seem way out there, and the pundits discussing their verbal excesses who seem more thoughtful. Not so in the rage fest between Canadian-born star Jim Carrey and talk-show-model-born Fox News.
Sadly, bureaucracy is a time-honored tradition in the United States government, but perhaps no greater bureaucratic juggernaut exists today than the Veteran's Administration (VA) run by the Obama Administration.
The Ohio state auditor is investigating the practice of "scrubbing," or dropping students from attendance rolls so they don't count against test scores. The former El Paso superintendent is in prison for using truant officers to encourage at-risk students to drop out. Other testing scandals have popped up in Mobile, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, and East St. Louis, Illinois. And everywhere USA Today looked in a 2011 investigation, they discovered statistically improbable aberrations in test scores, identifying 1,610 examples of anomalies that an Arizona State University professor compared to "a weight-loss clinic where you lose 100 ...
The nation held its collective breath and turned not just blue but a veritable rainbow of colors as the Supreme Court spent a goodly part of two days hearing oral arguments on gay marriage. Well, at least they were in the same room as arguments about gay marriage were oralled. In a position to eavesdrop on a series of gay marriage arguments, if they were of a mind to.
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.
Forget the joke candidacies of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Forget Scott Walker and his constant attempts to link himself to Reagan. Forget Jeb Bush and his deep-pocket donors. Forget Marco Rubio, the candidate of the "future" who represents the policies of yesterday. Think not about Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson and Chris Christie and Mike Pence. Forget them all - at least for the moment.