Nobody who knows Ted Cruz -- the Texas freshman Senator who became the first official contestant for the Republican Party's presidential nomination this week -- doubts that he is very, very smart. That includes Cruz himself, whose emphatic confidence in his own superior intelligence has not always endeared him to colleagues and acquaintances (whose opinions of his personality are often profanely negative).
Our kids, at least many of them, are not doing very well. The reason, writes Harvard professor Robert Putnam in his just-published "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," is the "two-tier pattern of family structure" that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to prevail today.
Let's start on an upbeat. Next to what we had before, Obamacare has been a spectacular success. The Affordable Care Act has brought medical security to millions of previously uninsured Americans and has helped slow the rise in health care spending.
Admit it: You love a juicy scandal. We claim to be high-minded and policy-oriented, but our noses are buried in the accounts of the latest political calamity -- and we read those stories before anything else.
The Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy is just the latest entrée in a decades-long, calorie-rich menu provided by the former first lady and her husband. But will it make a difference in 2016?
No matter what you do, modern liberals will tell you you're wrong.
On the average sunny day, Germany's huge energy grid gets 40 percent of its power from the sun. Guess what happened one recent morning when the sun went into eclipse. Nothing.
Rahm Emanuel heads into a runoff April 7 in his bid for a second term as mayor of Chicago. He's the favorite going in, having won 46 percent in the Feb. 24 first round against longtime local officeholder Chuy Garcia's 34 percent and topping 50 percent in recent polls.
Emanuel, President Obama's first White House chief of staff and architect of the Democrats' 2006 takeover of the House, is politically astute, energetic and profane. Given all that, it's surprising that his support is down from the 55 percent he won in the first round in February 2011.
Expecting morally serious debate from any would-be Republican presidential contender is like waiting for a check from a deadbeat. It could arrive someday, but don't count on it.
Yet listening to someone like Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., feign outrage over a real moral question can still be amusing, if you know enough about him to laugh. The Kentucky Republican has seized on stories about millions of dollars donated by Saudi Arabian agencies and interests to the Clinton Foundation, demanding that the Clintons return those funds because of gender inequality under the Saudi version of Islam.
"Firing up America" is the cover line on the March 20 issue of The Economist, heralding a 16-page special report on America's Latinos. Its tone is resolutely upbeat -- perhaps a bit too much so.
Give thanks for the little things, they say. A bill that would stop the feds from going after medical marijuana users in states that permit such activity is something for which we should give thanks. But it is little.