Wednesday December 17, 2014
The states, Justice Louis Brandeis famously pointed out, are the laboratories of democracy. And it's still true. For example, one reason we knew or should have known that Obamacare was workable was the post-2006 success of Romneycare in Massachusetts. More recently, Kansas went all-in on supply-side economics, slashing taxes on the affluent in the belief that this would spark a huge boom; the boom didn't happen, but the budget deficit exploded, offering an object lesson to those willing to learn from experience.
President Obama's plan to transform the U.S. health-care market is once again in trouble. This time, two Republican-appointed judges on a federal appeals court have invalidated a key portion of the program.
In other words, the U.S. constitutional system is functioning normally.
The online rental booking service Airbnb is a fast-growing empire that pairs travelers with people wanting to profit off a room in their house -- or the whole house. Like VRBO, HomeAway and similar platforms, Airbnb occupies the lodging sector of the "sharing economy."
Twice a year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convenes what it calls its Committee of 100 - which is composed of heads of regional chambers and Washington trade associations. They hear about the business climate from the chamber's longtime president, Thomas J. Donohue, and about the political landscape from Bruce Josten, its chief lobbyist.
The civilian death toll in Gaza from Israel's latest incursion is appalling. The right to self-defense is inalienable, but it is not free from moral constraints.
Congressional midterm elections, the poor cousin to presidential voting in the American political system, will take on a critical role for President Obama in November. The results may well determine whether he will become a premature lame duck two years before his second and last term expires.
I will readily admit that I have been all over the map when it comes to the death penalty.
As a young lawyer and law professor, I was opposed to it. Actually, it was easy to be against it. The evidence that it was being administered arbitrarily and unfairly was so overwhelming that the Supreme Court had effectively placed a moratorium on it. When it came back, in the late '70s, I was there, literally.
Roger Angell takes off his brown J. Press sports coat and blue cap, yanks out his hearing aids, stashes his cane, and sits down for a shave and haircut at Delta barbershop at 72nd and Lex., the same spot he's patronized for 40 years. "I don't see Henry Kissinger doing any interviews in a barbershop," he says dryly.
You need to stop sending your kids to Ivy League schools.
In brief, according to an article in the New Republic by William Deresiewicz, who taught at Yale for 10 years, the students who are sent there are conformist, over-privileged overachievers. They emerge from homogeneous backgrounds and grow up to be elitist little twits. (He also went to an Ivy League school, but he is different now.)
As the politics of immigration play out, grimly so, and with the send-'em-all-back crowd and the build-bigger-walls cabal vying for control of the outcome, little attention goes to the justice-seeking lawyers in the border states. As an admirer of their work, I confess to partiality: My father, born in 1888, was an immigration lawyer.