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.
My friend Greg Jarrett from Fox News was the first to point out the irony. A few days earlier, I had made the point that it was a George W. Bush appointee on the federal bench who struck down the National Security Agency surveillance program that the Bush administration (as well as the Obama administration) relied upon. Three cheers for an independent judiciary.
America's capacity for optimism and hope has been boundless through much of our short history. The tangible returns of hard work, the ordered liberty sustained through community consent and opportunity honed over time to apply equally to all men and women -- these were the currency of what we called the American Dream.
Could an aging population be good for economic growth? I mean, isn't it an accepted fact that our economy will suffer as more Americans pass age 65 and start sitting around all day, soaking up government benefits?
Proposals to raise Social Security benefits are a refreshing antidote to portrayals of the program as a mere drain on the Treasury. Details of some such plans are troubling -- for reasons I'll go into -- but the change in tone is most welcome.
The disastrous rollout of Obamacare, worse than anyone anticipated or warned, could have doomed the president's second term. It would require something very big to take your eyes off of that disaster. What an idea. Shut down the government.
The honchos at A&E, professing shock that an old Southern redneck from their reality TV hit "Duck Dynasty" made the sort of homophobic remarks one would expect from an old Southern redneck, yanked Phil Robertson off the show. A culture war skirmish ensued.
I've heard a lot of goofy arguments against raising the federal minimum wage. The silliest goes like this: "You want to raise the minimum wage to $15? Why not $50? Why not $100?"
The week after Thanksgiving Perry Griggs, The Dispatch's pressroom supervisor, asked me if I knew somewhere he could go to shoot mistletoe. Say that again?
When niece Chelsey was little, I lavished her with Christmas gifts too numerous and fanciful to remember. There were faux-fur coats with Dalmatian spots, diminutive dolls bundled as quintuplets, plastic horses that cost more than the real thing.
Pope Francis is displaying an extraordinary style and passion that demands our attention. He addresses the needs of the poor, embraces outcasts, and loves those on the margins of society. In this recent "apostolic exhortation," The Joy of the Gospel, the pope raises a moral challenge to both his church and the world.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. And a penguin?
I suspect the NSA may have thought they got lucky when one of the first post-Edward Snowden cases to challenge their phone metadata collection was assigned to Judge Richard Leon on the federal district court in Washington, D.C. After all, Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush after a long career, much of it spent working for Republicans in Washington.
As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash for it.