Over the latest Congressional work period, I conducted a 20 county, 2,000 mile listening tour, traveling from eastern Kansas to counties on the Colorado and Nebraska borders and back again. I spoke to farmers and ranchers, took part in a technical broadband summit, toured hospitals, met with students, visited a major oil fracking site, and held numerous town hall meetings.
When I cast my Senate vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2009, I had a lot of mixed feelings. The bill certainly didn't do everything I had hoped for, and I knew parts of it would have to be revised by future Congresses. But I was sure that the health-care system we had was broken, and the ACA went at least part of the way toward fixing it.
It wasn't what you would call the most favorable week for old white racist men. Then again, these weeks, not many are. How bad did it get for ancient intolerant caucasian males? Bowling ball dropped on your little toe from a height of nine feet bad. Brazilian soccer stampede bad. Donald Trump testifying at your rent-hearing bad.
"Where did you serve?"
America has just had its jolting Michael Corleone moment.
Donald Sterling is a despicable human being. The racist landowner and L.A. Clippers owner's years of racist activity included evicting a "smelly black woman" from her apartment because she complained about the leaking plumbing.
Get this: People are becoming addicted to their smartphones.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And necessity (my looming deadline) has forced me to invent a connection between Mother's Day and Red Buttons.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
In this contemporary world it is easy to dismiss as old-fashioned the idea that prayer has a role in our public sphere. Indeed the U.S. Supreme Court is even taking up a case by those opposed to prayer at government meetings. But irrespective of modernity, national prayer has always played a critical role in shaping our great nation. Prayer binds man to one another, and it shows that even with great power entrusted to them our leaders have called upon the Almighty in times of need and of thanksgiving. In fact, the first national call to prayer in America ...
It used to be common sense that the earth was flat. Then it was common sense that the earth was the center of the universe. Now it's common sense that you can use a student's test scores to measure a teacher's effectiveness. But that idea, called the "Value-Added Method" or VAM, came crashing to earth recently when Washington state became the first state to lose a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver-and the money that goes along with it-because it could not come up with a way to use test scores to judge teachers.
The issue brought to light in the Donald Sterling matter is this: Neither passing legislation nor even electing a black president can cleanse all minds of evil thoughts.
The stupefyingly stubborn John Boehner is at it again. A week ago at a Las Vegas fundraiser, the House speaker audaciously said that he's hell-bent on passing an immigration bill this year. Then at the exclusive Brown's Run Country Club in his Ohio home district, Boehner publicly ridiculed his fellow House Republicans for refusing to fall in line. Said Boehner in a whining voice intended to disparage uncooperative Republicans: "Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard."
A tsunami of tech is engulfing our nation, and in the process, redecorating communities like a family of grizzly bears locked in a Volkswagen van. A family of obscenely paid bespectacled grizzly bears with a taste for artisanal toast.
So much for the hope that a new, democratic, non-confrontational Russia would emerge in the 21st century -- hopes that began on Nov. 9, 1989, when Soviet Union leader MikhailÂ Gorbachev took up President Ronald Reagan's challenge and tore down that 30-year-old Berlin wall.
Imagine our government issuing a law requiring women to surgically remove their external genitalia.
We're taught as kids that lying is bad, that liars should be held accountable. But in Washington, lying is so endemic and so flagrant that the perpetrators are rarely even rebuked.
This just in! If you're willing to spend more money than you currently drop on Netflix, you can now get the Sarah Palin Channel online, which promises to "discuss the great issues of the day and work towards solutions."
On August 15 the Panama Canal (which greatly enhances maritime trade by providing a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans) celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening.
Ah, summer. What a great time for boys to read "The Dangerous Book for Boys."
Let's wave bye-bye to July with a thigh-slapping salute to Curt Clawson, the tea party's latest contribution to the U.S. Congress. Rarely has a Republican white guy evinced such cluelessness about Americans of a different race.
In a move less surprising than hot dogs at a ballgame, the House of Representatives voted to give Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the President of the United States. This isn't like a divorce, or a civil suit for money, it's more of a restraining order. They want Obama to quit trying to resuscitate the government they've been working so hard to render unconscious.