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.
What do you call waiting for the end of a partial government shutdown while waiting to see if Congress raises the debt limit while waiting to see if Bay Area Rapid Transit workers strike and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit workers join them? Waiting for the apocalypses? Or: Bargaining bad.
A national network reporter, during an interview about about the government shutdown, actually told me: "Democrats believe government should do some things. Republicans don't believe government should be doing anything." Where had we heard that characterization of the GOP?
Some aspects of American agriculture are quite odd. For example, to meet a farmer these days, you don't need to venture out to the hinterland. Thousands of our farmers are city slickers.
As video games grow ever more violent and realistic, the latest sign of "progress" is the arrival of female characters you can take into combat in the latest version of the war game "Call of Duty."
The Republican Party is paying a steep price for the House Republicans' decision to follow Sen. Ted Cruz's self-destructive crusade to partially shut down the government in a reckless gambit to defund Obamacare.
The Democrats are chanting that Republicans must fully fund Obamacare because it is the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. Therefore, they say, it must be obeyed and can't be altered by Republicans who want to defund it.
The fast-food chain swears it will offer plenty of healthy choices at all its restaurants but not
Actually, as best I can tell, it's not nuts: The FDA folks who are in charge of inspecting nut factories aren't working. Did someone say salmonella? Yes, we have a chicken problem, and it's not clear whether those folks are working, either. Apparently, the CDC has recalled some people to deal with salmonella, but flu is another matter. Seafood and produce from outside the country? That appears to be a no. Stay away from national parks. Waiting on a home loan? Wait. Small-business loan? Nope.
The founts of wisdom on the Affordable Care Act spent the past year anguishing over whether "young invincibles" - young adults with low medical costs and no health coverage - would buy policies under the act. If young adults instead chose to pay the $95 fine, experts predicted, Obamacare would falter.
Never before has an American president threatened and risked the U.S. economy and financial markets the way Barack Obama has in recent days. For his own narrow political ends, Obama and his minions have actually accused the Republican party of deliberately provoking a Treasury debt default because they don't agree with the Obama position on the continuing budget resolution and the debt ceiling.
Hey there, Mr. Speaker.
The feud between Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., doesn't have the import of the federal government shutdown, but it does shine a light on the Beltway's partisan rancor. If there is a lesson for Washington politicos from this mud fight, then it is this: Don't try to be clever. There will be blowback.
Somewhere in America, author and historian Taylor Branch is sitting back with a huge grin on his face, telling anyone who passes by, "I told ya so."
On the same day, CNN and NBC both dropped their plans to make movies about Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, it looks like a win both for the Clintons and for RNC chair Reince Priebus, who boldly told the two networks that they wouldn't be moderating any GOP presidential debates in 2015 or 2016 with those promotional films in the pipeline.
Imagine a government energy program that is such a disaster that the Environmental Working Group and the American Petroleum Institute both oppose it. The anti-poverty group ActionAid USA wants to get rid of it, as does the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to end it. So does Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. They're both sponsors of the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.
Don't pick your nose (at least in public). The other day while I was walking down the street, I saw a guy doing just that. He had the index finger of his right hand up his right nostril, and he was really digging in like he was searching for gold. As I walked past, he turned to face the other way, even though I could still clearly see him as he proceeded to pop the treasure he had found right into his mouth. Super gross.
Does Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., suffer from short, medium and long-term memory loss?
I never quite understood what "nursing" really meant until the past six months, when the supposed superstar doctor who operated on me in Phoenix (One of the smartest male doctors I know told me she was the best, a woman, how wonderful; beware gender bias.) made a mess of my intestines, leaving me rather critically ill with peritonitis and unbearable pain while she went to Maui. Some very fine physicians, in California and in Arizona, tried to clean up the mess she left, but it was the nurses who took care of me.
"Do the crime, do the time," goes the old saying.
A voracious and eclectic reader, President Nixon instructed me to send him every few weeks 10 articles he would not normally see that were on interesting or important issues.
In what has been called the "Catholic moment" in America, in the late 1940s and 1950s, Catholics were admonished from pulpits to "live the faith" and "set an example" for others.
The libertarian-leaning me believes an American employer should be able to hire pretty much anyone he or she wants to hire. But the taxpaying me believes that if the federal government limits immigration yet creates a special visa program for highly skilled foreign workers with the assurance that the program will not cut into the wages or jobs of American workers, then Washington ought to keep its promise.
Representative Steve Scalise might not be for sale, but he is available for long-term lease.
Being a Congress critter isn't the cushy job many people assume. After all, they must draft laws, organize hearings, write speeches, round up votes, and do all sorts of other things.