All kinds of questions are being asked about what will happen if Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom on September 18. How will the national debt and the North Sea oil and gas reserves be divided? What about fishing rights? Will Scotland be allowed to keep the pound? Where will the Royal Navy base its nuclear submarines, since they are not welcome in Scotland? What will the remainder of the United Kingdom do for a flag if the white cross of St. Andrew on a blue field is ripped from the Union Jack?Read More
There’s an early Philip Roth story about a bunch of Jewish kids in Hebrew school trying to figure out whether Jesus lived or not.
“The Catholics,” Itzie Lieberman says, “they believe in Jesus Christ, that he’s God.”
Lieberman, Roth adds, “used ‘the Catholics’ in its broadest sense — to include the Protestants.”
I confess, when I was a kid in a largely Jewish town, I was similarly confused. I think I have it straight, now. But I was confused again this week, reading about Dave Brat’s surprising primary election win over Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)…Read More »
John Paul Stevens, retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has responded to the high court’s recent decisions on campaign finance with an incredibly bad idea: He has proposed an amendment to the Constitution to override the First Amendment and allow Congress and the states impose what he calls “reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”Read More »
If you were a recent college grad or drop out with no job or underemployed or selling your mind and body as an unpaid intern, do you give a (bleep) about the Koch brothers?Read More »
It’s the morning after.
You stayed up late watching election results on TV. By the time you went to bed, the Republicans had won five of the six Senate seats they needed to take control of both houses of Congress. As the networks called each state for the GOP, it felt like a trap door had opened beneath your feet, like a Munch scream, like a nightmare – a nauseating, slow-motion wreck you were powerless to prevent.Read More »
On 18 March Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivered a major speech to Russia’s political elite aimed at explaining Russia’s policy towards Crimea and Ukraine. Plenty of commentators have analysed it (and attacked it mercilessly) on points of substance. See for example this brisk piece for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty…Read More »
I love online quizzes.
The one I currently love most is “How Millennial Are You?” which the Pew Research Center put out on Friday. You answer 14 questions, ranging from whether living a very religious life is very important to you to whether you have a piercing in a place other than your earlobe, and your score tells you what generation you most resemble.Read More »
There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful. Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.
That was then. Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.Read More »