"The not so Golden State" is how a recent issue of The Economist magazine tags California's business climate. It's the latest in a trove of conservative literature trying to dance around the fact that high-tax, highly regulated, bureaucratic states can be economic powerhouses. The writers deal with the "problem" by burying reality under a pile of "buts" and "howevers."
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Sometimes, you get the feeling that's the only King quote conservatives know.
We know what Mike Huckabee meant. Sort of. Kind of. But, really? Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, talk-show host and erstwhile Baptist preacher, was trying to demythologize the alleged GOP "war on women" so brilliantly defined by Democrats in 2012.
Fixated as we Americans are on Canada's three most attention-getting exports -- polar vortexes, Alberta clippers and the antics of Toronto's addled mayor -- we've somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada's current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance.
"But it works." That, in three syllables, has been the go-to argument of the last two presidential administrations to justify assaulting civil liberties in the name of rooting out terrorists.
After decades of suffering environmental torture at the hands of polluting industries, West Virginians might regard a chemical spill that poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 residents -- and is still scaring folks after the dangers have presumably passed -- as a last straw. But there never seems to be a last straw for them.
Everybody's got something. Maybe it's something you were born with, maybe something that happened to you, maybe something you did to yourself through bad habits or neglect. But everybody's got something, some physical or emotional blemish measuring the distance from you to perfection.
Everybody's doing it -- confessing their youthful, pot-smoking ways -- so here goes. I don't remember. Kidding, kidding. Anyone over 30 recognizes the old adage: If you remember the '60s, you weren't there. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.
By early 2011, writes former defense secretary Robert Gates, he had concluded President Obama "doesn't believe in his own [Afghanistan] strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his."
As we evaluate the efficacy of the War on Poverty, a single, unquantifiable factor stubbornly demands attention: luck.
NEW YORK CITY -- If you can imagine a place today that would extend credit to struggling but brilliant journalists, novelists and theater people, where, say, Donna Tartt and Jon Stewart and Tina Brown might convene daily for lunch and drinks, then there might be a contemporary equivalent of The Algonquin Round Table.
Here is what he said: "...all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be." It would seem to be a self-evident truth. After all, your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is regulated. If you don't believe it, write something libelous about a guy with deep pockets and man-eating lawyers. Your Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is regulated and then some. If you don't believe that, pick up your phone and ask the NSA agent tapping your line.
In the days since revelations surfaced about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office orchestrating the now-infamous George Washington Bridge lane closings, I've had at least four different reactions.
Luckily for Christie, it's 2014, and so far, he's done everything right, according to the playbook for handling political scandals.
In politics, it's all in how you say things. George Orwell knew what he was talking about when he described political language as "designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
Some enterprising writer must do a book titled "The Downton Diet." It would explain how to get and stay slim without moving a muscle, as the aristocratic women in the wildly popular British drama series demonstrate.
New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people "on the far right" who "continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics." According to Mayor de Blasio, "They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else."
A New York voice boomed from the back of the long car rental line: "Wha'd they do, lay off half the people?" One of my thoughts no doubt shared by fellow detainees waiting, waiting at the big-name car rental office at a Florida airport.
Thirty-seven stabs. Thirty-seven cuts by a knife. Twice to his throat. Six times to his spine. Seven times to his shoulder. A slice to his abdomen that ripped him open like a fish.
Fair warning: This is about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy. Yes, I know. I'm sick of it, too.
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