A commencement speaker at Point Park University here urged graduates to brush their teeth. Whether she was grasping at a clever metaphor for handling life after college or she actually felt that a diploma along with good dental hygiene were keys to happiness, I couldn't tell. Commencement speeches come in many flavors.
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.
It was just a matter of time for the program to be abused.
The meeting probably wasn't as awkward as Cain attending Abel's funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband's family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt-drunk at a wedding reception feel.
We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
Like a boulder dropped in a lake, Hillary Clinton's dissing of President Obama is still creating serious ripples. So let's stay with this story a bit longer.
Obama has failed to help defeat islamists in Syria, leading to the growth of The Islamic State (The Radical Islamist Murderers Formerly Known as ISIS) and fails to define a foreign policy for the U.S.
If you're frustrated by the skimpiness of "fun-size" candy, wait until you hear some "fun-size" songs.
Men might be from Mars and women from Venus, but at least we're in the same solar system. When it comes to politics, liberals and conservatives can't agree on what the problems are much less solutions. We can blame the politicians for not making progress on the big issues of our time, but until Americans share a common truth about what those issues are we won't move an inch.