Last week, hours before a historic default, Congress finally stopped playing chicken with the world's largest economy and ended the government shutdown. So . . . hurray, right?
If Tuesday's argument before the Supreme Court is any indication, a Michigan law prohibiting "preferential treatment" is on its way to being upheld by the United States Supreme Court. The law was held unconstitutional last year by a panel of judges on the United States Court of Appeals because, in their view, the primarily white electorate was taking away from minorities the benefits of an admissions policy that supported racial diversity in the state college and university system.
For all the hyped indignation over GOP "anarchism," there has been remarkable media reticence about the president's intransigence. He has refused to negotiate anything unless the Republicans fully fund the government and raise the debt ceiling - unconditionally.
The thing might be funny, except that somebody died. That part isn't funny at all. But the rest of it, the moments before Justin Valdez was killed, read like some twisted skit on "Saturday Night Live."
His prized possessions were a Stetson hat, a portrait print signed by Kentucky's Col. Harlan Sanders and a putter shaped like a hot dog and autographed by Bear Bryant, though three of his children had graduated from Auburn and he never played golf.
Have a health-related problem? They have a pill for that.
Why another shutdown? Our government has three parties these days: Democrats, Republicans and the new radical Republicans. That "radical Republican" label has some history. The old radical Republicans were the Grand Old Party's progressive wing. They were opposed during the Civil War and through Reconstruction by the party's liberals and conservatives.
The other day Tommy McCann came in with a framed black and white photo of three high school football players. Two players in uniform, each holding a football, flank a teammate, who has a cast on his right arm. McCann is on the right and Mike McRaney is on the left. The player in the middle with the cast and a "Lee High" sweatshirt is unmistakably Billy Brewer.
I once believed that at the end of our lives, relatives and loved ones would take care of us, bring us comfort, break the monotony of long, last hours.
Ask most people on Capitol Hill and they'll say: 50-50. Those are the odds they give for a government shutdown. An alternative to the shutdown would be a proposed delay of the individual mandate, the most painful part of Obamacare, which may seem like a Republican victory but on closer inspection would be a win for President Obama and Democrats.
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