Saturday November 29, 2014
November 13th, 2014
The U.S. midterm elections have had almost everything, except a vision for governing.
Democrats leveled charges that hard-hearted Republicans would slice Granny's Social Security and throw her off the Medicare rolls while denying younger women contraception. Republican critics refer to Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall as Mark "Uterus" for his emphasis on women's issues.
If I asked you to help pay college tuition for youngsters from wealthy families in Potomac, Md., or McLean, Va., my guess is you would not be enthusiastic.
Mike Weisser is my favorite gun dealer. The longtime proprietor of the Ware Gun Shop in Ware, Massachusetts, Weisser, 70, estimates he has sold more than 40,000 guns in his career as a wholesaler and retailer. He also has a nice little business teaching a gun-safety course that Massachusetts requires of all new gun owners.
The crisis in our political system is less about party than about horizon. To understand why, consider the issue of climate change.
Uber, the car-summoning service, got some flak not long ago for "surge" pricing. Customers complained about its policy of raising prices charged for trips at times of high demand. That might happen on New Year's Eve, in the teeth of a monsoon or, less dramatically, during an especially busy lunch hour.
Just days before the midterm elections, we got the latest alarm: The globe is heating up like a griddle, and we're just lolling here like eggs.
We've just had a nonsense midterm election. Never has more money been spent to think so little about a future so in flux. What would we have discussed if we'd had a serious election? How about the biggest challenge we're facing today: the resilience of our workers, environment and institutions.
A thought experiment in the election's aftermath: What if, instead of focusing on making it harder for people to vote, we made voting mandatory?
Indulge me in a rant against the phantom menace of voter fraud. The efforts to suppress it are barely disguised Republican moves to hold down minority votes that would, presumably, go to Democrats.
Nurse Kaci Hickox is still at large, despite efforts by two governors to put her back in captivity.
As such, she has become a threat to public health or a hero to the cause of freedom, science and good sense, depending on your point of view.
Here’s a typical scene in any American checkup: The doctor walks in to find the patient sitting on the table. “Well, your cholesterol is too high,” the doctor tells the patient. “I can prescribe something for it, but the real solution will be diet and exercise.”
The patient leaves that day with a bottle of Lipitor and maybe a pamphlet about healthier living habits.