Last month, Barack Obama traveled to snowy St. Paul, Minn., the same place where in the sunnier days of June 2008 he predicted that his clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination would be remembered as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the earth began to heal."
This time in St. Paul he addressed a lesser problem, one within the ambit of a president's powers: transportation.
Solipsism. It's a fancy word that means that the self is the only existing reality and that the external world, including other people, are representations of one's own self and can have no independent existence. A person who follows this philosophy may believe that others see the world as he does and will behave as he would.
February marked the fifth anniversary of the reemergence of the label "Tea Party" in American politics. It was in February 2009 that Rick Santelli delivered his famous rant on CNBC, and a few days later, a group calling itself the Tea Party Patriots was organized.
What motivates people to demonstrate in central squares, day after day and week after week, against repressive regimes at the risk of life and limb? It's a question raised most recently by events in Ukraine and Venezuela.
Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill famously said that all politics is local. And it mostly was, in his time: He was first elected to the Massachusetts legislature's lower house in 1936 and became its speaker in 1949, and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1952 and became its speaker in 1977.
Those were years when there was constant churning and turmoil in partisan politics. Yankee Republicans yielded majority status to Catholic Democrats in O'Neill's Massachusetts.
It is 611 miles from the United Auto Workers headquarters in Detroit to Volkswagen's assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. It's a long day's drive, about 10 hours almost entirely on Interstate 75, but it turned out to be too far for the UAW.
Or so one must judge from the results of the unionization election last week in Chattanooga. Volkswagen employees voted 712-626 against certifying the UAW as their bargaining agent.
The roots of American liberalism are not compassion, but snobbery. That's the thesis of Fred Siegel's revealing new book, "The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class."
Disparate impact. That's a phrase you don't hear much in everyday conversation. But it's the shorthand description of a legal doctrine with important effects on everyday American life -- and more if Barack Obama and his political allies get their way.
Consider the Department of Justice and Department of Education policies on school discipline. In a "dear colleague" letter distributed last month, the departments noted that "students of certain racial or ethnic groups tend to be disciplined more than their peers."
Michael Barone, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, where this article first appeared (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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Is Barack Obama trying to shift alliances in the Middle East away from traditional allies and toward Iran? Robert Kaplan, author and geopolitical analyst for the Stratford consulting firm, thinks so.
America succeeds because Americans fail and forgive. That's the intriguing message -- or part of it -- of Megan McArdle's new book "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success."