So, about that fiscal crisis the one that would, any day now, turn us into Greece. Greece, I tell you: Never mind.
Ten years ago, America invaded Iraq; somehow, our political class decided that we should respond to a terrorist attack by making war on a regime that, however vile, had nothing to do with that attack.
The State of the Union address was not, I'm sorry to say, very interesting. True, the president offered many good ideas. But we already know that almost none of those ideas will make it past a hostile House of Representatives.
President Barack Obama's second inaugural address offered a lot for progressives to like. There was the spirited defense of gay rights; there was the equally spirited defense of the role of government, and, in particular, of the safety net provided by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
SAN DIEGO It's that time again: the annual meeting of the American Economic Association and affiliates, a sort of medieval fair that serves as a marketplace for bodies (newly minted Ph.D.s in search of jobs), books and ideas.
The centrist fantasy of a Grand Bargain on the budget never had a chance. Even if some kind of bargain had supposedly been reached, key players would soon have reneged on the deal probably the next time a Republican occupied the White House.
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, has a reputation as a good guy, a man who supports worthy causes. And he presumably thought he would add to that reputation when he posted an open letter urging his employees to promote fiscal bipartisanship by writing "Come together" on coffee cups.
A few years back, there was a boom in poker television shows in which you got to watch the betting and bluffing of expert card players. Since then, however, viewers seem to have lost interest. But I have a suggestion: Instead of featuring poker experts, why not have a show featuring poker incompetents people who fold when they have a strong hand or don't know how to quit while they're ahead?
Earlier this week, GQ magazine published an interview with Sen. Marco Rubio, whom many consider a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, in which Rubio was asked how old the Earth is. After declaring, "I'm not a scientist, man," the senator went into desperate evasive action, ending with the declaration that "it's one of the great mysteries."
America's political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die. The most prominent zombie is the insistence that low taxes on rich people are the key to prosperity. But there are others.
To say the obvious: Democrats won an amazing victory. Not only did they hold the White House despite a still-troubled economy, in a year when their Senate majority was supposed to be doomed, they actually added seats.
If President Barack Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.
"No. 1," declared Mitt Romney in Wednesday's debate, "pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan." No, they aren't as Romney's own advisers have conceded in the past, and did again after the debate.
Are you, or is someone you know, a gadget freak? If so, you doubtless know that Wednesday was iPhone 5 day, the day Apple unveiled its latest way for people to avoid actually speaking to or even looking at whoever they're with.
There has been plenty to criticize about President Barack Obama's handling of the economy. Yet the overriding story of the past few years is not Obama's mistakes but the scorched-earth opposition of Republicans, who have done everything they can to get in his way and who now, having blocked the president's policies, hope to win the White House by claiming that his policies have failed.
A couple of weeks ago the Northeast was in the grip of a severe heat wave. As I write this, however, it's a fairly cool day in New Jersey, considering that it's late July. Weather is like that; it fluctuates.
So the Supreme Court defying many expectations upheld the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Barack Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans people like you.
Over the past few days, the New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey's system of halfway houses privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.
What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes.