California has found a formula for ending the partisan warfare that once paralyzed its government: Get rid of one of the parties, in this case, the Republican. The state's famously dysfunctional government now hums with calm efficiency.
Two things are often said in this town: "A day is a year in politics." And, "It's all about 2014." Combined, the two statements mean that much can happen between now and the midterm elections next year, when Republicans hope to hold the House and gain the Senate -- and Democrats intend to hold the Senate and recover the House.
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.
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