Back in their day, the tea party folks were riding high, fueling indignation over alleged government-run death panels, a treasonous Federal Reserve and the like. They commandeered sparsely attended Republican primaries, managing to nominate for Senate seats a dabbler in witchcraft in Delaware, holders of strange views on rape in Missouri and Indiana, and in Nevada, a candidate suggesting armed insurrection if her people didn't win elections.
For years, conservatives have pushed for a health-insurance model emphasizing catastrophic coverage. It works as follows:
Max Baucus' reputation as one of the most ethically challenged members of the U.S. Senate is well earned. The Montana Democrat's decision to retire in 2014 can't help but improve the chamber's sorry record of self-enrichment at taxpayers' expense. But Baucus has over a year left to do more mischief.
The story of three girls grabbed from the streets of Cleveland and caged in their neighborhood for some 10 years demands scrutiny beyond expressions of shock. We can't let this gruesome tale of Ariel Castro allegedly imprisoning, impregnating and tormenting young women simply pass into the annals of true crime -- not just yet. But how are we to process it? The man was clearly a sicko, but what kind of sicko was he?
You know a corner's been turned when someone in a legion of foreign sweatshop workers is given a face. That's happened in Bangladesh, home of hideous factory conditions -- as seen in the ruins of Rana Plaza, a former eight-story work warren. Death toll: over 600.
We may not have time for exercise, but there's always time to read about exercising. And while the motivation to exercise may not be tops, the motivation to shop for "aids" to exercise seems forever strong.
The good things that should happen after marijuana is legalized are happening in Colorado. In November, voters in Colorado -- and Washington state -- legalized pot for recreational use. (Many states allow medical use of marijuana.)
What are the good things?
For starters, money, money, money for the state coffers. As of last week, lawmakers in Denver were still tussling over how heavily to tax marijuana sales. A leading plan centers on excise and sales taxes totaling 30 percent. The tax can't go so high that it encourages a black market.
We who work through colds, bad backs and low moods -- however liberal we might be -- have permission to resent those who could hold a job but don't, preferring to collect disability checks unto the decades. You see them at the coffee shop, refilling their cups in leisure, or even pumping iron at the gym.
The uncle of the accused Boston Marathon bombers got the boys right. They were unable to settle into American life, Ruslan Tsarni told reporters from his home in Maryland, "and thereby just hating everyone who did." He called the two brothers "losers." I prefer the term "weaklings."
During the big health care fight, the right told older Americans that Obamacare was grabbing money from their Medicare and giving it to young people. Now it tells young workers that Medicare and Social Security are draining their take-home pay to support retirees sitting around the pool.