We are all, to some extent, prisoners of the past. Things that have already happened -- or that we remember as having happened -- constitute the world that we know. Anything else is a product of imagination.
"Partisan gerrymandering is nothing new," writes Chief Justice John Roberts near the beginning of his opinion in Rucho v. Common Cause. "Nor is frustration with it." The question is what, if anything, federal courts ought to do about it. The answer the chief justice and the four other Republican-appointed justices have endorsed, journalists have been reporting, is nothing.
There's something attractive in the party names in the Supreme Court's decision on the relationship between government and religion: American Legion v. American Humanist Association. Both organizations, the veterans group formed after World War I and the secular humanist group founded the year this nation entered World War II, want to tell you how American they are.
"An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America," says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., whose visibility as a spokesperson for this generation has been boosted by political friend and foe, "came of age and never saw American prosperity."
Will Joe Biden inevitably win the Democratic nomination for president? A month ago, many psephologists thought so, as national polls within two weeks of his April 25 announcement showed the former vice president with 41 percent of Democratic primary votes.
"I'm amused," Attorney General William Barr told CBS News' Jan Crawford, "by these people who make a living by disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operatives, wringing their hands about whether I'm going to be responsible in protecting intelligence sources and methods."
Political parties generally go unappreciated, even among those inclined to celebrate representative democracy. The Founding Fathers famously didn't like them yet found themselves forming them, not long after the First Congress assembled.
The Big Lie is back in style. Wikipedia tells us that the term was invented by Adolf Hitler to describe what others did -- though he was the biggest liar of all. "The broad masses of a nation," he wrote in "Mein Kampf," "more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie."
If you've been paying any attention at all to journalism in recent years -- maybe not a good idea, but if you have -- you surely have noticed those stories predicting, often with a certain relish, that the United States is about to become a majority-minority country.
Once upon a time, May 1 -- May Day -- was a day for working-class parades in factory towns. This year, it was a day for Joe Biden, to set off on his third presidential campaign in 32 years, to make news on the stump, not in a working-class venue but in the university town of Iowa City, now the state's Democratic stronghold.