Americans should be the happiest people in history. We've got a booming economy, with 4.8 percent growth in the first quarter. Unemployment is down to 4.7 percent even as the population grows. The Dow Jones is near a historic high. But we're not happy.
When Mel Gibson introduced "The Passion of the Christ" into the public conversation, Hollywood had a lot to say about it. Now Hollywood is offering its response with the upcoming release of "The DaVinci Code," inviting commentary not on that movie, but on Hollywood itself.
What is most noteworthy about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rambling letter to President Bush is that certain people actually want to treat it as a good faith effort to open up a dialogue between our two nations and believe President Bush should jump at the opportunity.
There are a great many Republicans who laugh when you suggest that Hillary Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee in 2008. Their incredulity only deepens if you intimate that she could win. They are so vehement in their detestation of all things Clinton that the idea seems almost kooky to them.
"Mission: Impossible III" is a dumbed-down movie to reflect our times. Fireworks overpower plot and diminish character development, and in trying to humanize Tom Cruise by getting him a fiancee instead of merely a girlfriend, the moviemakers make him merely a robotic love comic hero.
The incumbent congressman, Republican Charles Taylor, first won the 11th District seat in 1990, and has subsequently won reelection 8 times, by an average margin of 57%. Facing a primary opponent for the first time since 1990, Taylor cruised to an easy victory last week and will be the Republican nominee.
The fifth in a series of Washington Post editorials lauding the political reshuffling of income begins on the wrong foot. "The quest for ways to reduce inequality," the editors wrote, "begins with taxation. Unlike spending programs, redistribution through taxation is administratively simple."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seeking allies in his war on "illegal guns." The mayor recently held a summit for fellow mayors at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, attracting the mayors of Dallas, Boston, Hartford, and several other major American cities.
Hanging out some recent quotes on the clothesline. . .
Amid all the hysteria among politicians and in the media over rising gasoline prices, and all the outraged indignation about oil company profits and their executives' high pay and lavish perks, has anybody bothered to even estimate how much effect any of this actually has on the price we pay at the pump?
George Orwell admonished, "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." That's what I want to do -- talk about the obvious, starting with the question: What human motivation leads to the most wonderful things getting done?
You may want to look fast, but the Democratic National Committee's website still has a "Republican Culture of Corruption" page, implying that by installing the Democrats back in the congressional majority, we'll have a virtual monastery of ethical restraint in Washington -- with leaders like Patrick Kennedy setting the example.
It may have been serendipitous that soon after The Associated Press released a poll indicating President Bush's approval rating had dropped to 33 percent and 45 percent of self-described conservatives now disapprove of Bush's performance, the news leaked that Bush intended to nominate Gen. Michael Hayden to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Ask even news-savvy Americans what they know about Saddam's plans to deploy suicide bombers against the West, and the most common response will be blank stares. Ditto for asking about how Saddam's thugs trained thousands of terrorists from around the Arab world, right up through 2002.
Back when Bill Clinton was leaving his mark on history by leaving his mark on Monica Lewinsky’s dress, one of the most aggravating aspects of the entire shabby episode was having our nation patronized by the European media. As usual, the snidest commentary came to us courtesy of the French.
To understand what Americans are fighting, it is necessary to first understand that we are not fighting a "War on Terror." We are no more fighting a "War on Terror" than we fought a "War on Kamikazes" in World War II.
Does anyone really believe President Bush wants to spy on innocent old ladies or any other group of innocent Americans? Does anyone -- besides the loony left and unwitting dupes they have convinced?
It may seem like the height of sophistication to think that we can (or should) load our children with facts and figures and then leave it up to them to decide what's right and wrong. In fact, it's a moral abdication of our duties as parents.
"United 93" surprised me. I was expecting a large dose of sentimentality, of sugary vignettes from the passengers' lives, along with a musically enhanced final battle scene. The actual film is so much better than that.
The elimination of the Electoral College would overnight make irrelevant the votes of Americans in about 25 states because candidates would zero in on piling up votes in large-population states.
Over my last 13 years as a college professor, I've heard some pretty wild conspiracy theories attempting to blame various social ills on white people. After hearing a particularly strange one about Hurricane Katrina - from a 20-year old white girl, no less – I decided to publish my Top Ten.
One of the bloggers suggests that 2006 may be the year of the Lou Dobbs voter. The blogger, the Influence Peddler, is no fan. He considers Dobbs a demagogue, but he wonders whether voters are ready for a Dobbsian program of opposing illegal immigration, "throwing the bums out of Washington" and staying wary of international trade.
As if you needed more proof that the U.S. Senate is completely out of control, the Senate voted last week to pass a $109-billion emergency spending bill for the war in Iraq, Katrina relief and to fight avian flu -- despite President Bush's pledge to veto a bill that spends more than $94.5 billion.
After an astonishing 56 months without a second terrorist attack, this nation perhaps has become dangerously immune to astonishment.