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Don’t touch the 14th amendment

When the Congress and the president began discussing immigration reform several years ago it started as a surprisingly deliberate and thoughtful discussion. But, sadly, this high-minded exchange didn’t last very long. Now, instead of debate, there is a back and forth of hateful rhetoric and some ideas, that, if not irrational, are at least ill considered. Of course, as I said, that wasn’t always the case. And interestingly enough, while generally supported by Democrats, true immigration reform, at one time, had some impressive Republican supporters. President George W. Bush counted himself as an immigration reform advocate and so did John McCain.

Read more: Don’t touch the 14th amendment

It’s a wonder I can speak English at all

Over the years, in high school, and later in College, I tried to learn another language. My teachers did their best, but the outcome was always the same. And so was their conclusion. I had no aptitude for languages. The best advice was to stick with the language I had, and that was English. However, while most of us are used to English, it’s not as easy as all that, and when I think of all the new immigrants in our area having to master our native tongue, my heart goes out to them.
 Just consider the number of words. Many argue that English has more words than any other language in the world. The Oxford Dictionary puts the count at 500,000, but others say it’s more like 1 million. Also, according to one source, and this includes words that probably aren’t going to last long, such as “humongous,” and “ginormous” the English language adds a word every 98 minutes. I guess I will have to “google” that (and yes, “google” is one of those new words too), to see if it’s true.

Read more: It’s a wonder I can speak English at all

The continuing appeal of Sarah Palin

 The United States for all of its size is a place where given the right circumstances a person can go from being an unknown to becoming a national name in minutes.  There are very few places where that can happen, but as they say, “only in America.”  That was certainly the case with the former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.  She was even, long before the rest of the nation ever heard of her, something of political phenomena in her own state.  She went from being mayor of the small town of Wasilla to governor in just two years.  But as we know now, that was nothing compared to what happened after that.  She so impressed candidate John McCain that she become his running mate in the 2008 Presidential election.

Read more: The continuing appeal of Sarah Palin

Virginia should keep ABC stores

When Governor Bob McDonnell was elected he faced two challenges. First, he had to live up to his promise not to raise taxes and second he had to find more money for roads. Given the state of the economy, this is a tough challenge. One of his ideas was to privatize the state liquor stores. This would bring an instant infusion of cash into the state coffers. The approach that’s gaining steam is to have the state close its Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores, and instead, sell licenses to private vendors.

Read more: Virginia should keep ABC stores

Could Hillary Clinton still run for president?

She has the most unusual resume in the history of American politics.  She also has had one of the most successful careers in American politics and the betting is that it might not be over yet.
Her background is pretty well known.  In 1975 Hillary Rodham married Bill Clinton, an up and coming politician from Arkansas.  She followed him into the governor’s mansion and in 1992 into the White House.  As First Lady she was easily the most controversial person to ever hold the position.  She dabbled in health care, had to explain some dubious investments, and hearkened to a vast right wing conspiracy that was out to get her husband.  She was, for many on the right, the person they loved to hate.  But she had supporters, lots of them, and they were hoping that once Bill Clinton’s administration was over, she would run for office.
In this regard she got a little ahead of schedule and ran for the Senate when she was still First Lady.  A definite “first” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) in American politics, but in 2000 New York seemed delighted to have her and she routed her Republican opponent Rick Lazio.  She even managed to carry several upstate counties that hadn’t voted for a Democrat in years.  Her first term in the Senate was successful.  She wasn’t a lightweight, as her detractors predicted, and in something that proved a surprise, she was particularly adept at reaching across the aisle and working with Republicans.   She swept to reelection in 2006.

Read more: Could Hillary Clinton still run for president?

Remember when there were no initials?

Summertime is often a quiet time for the press. This means reporters have to go farther down the pile of wire service clippings and press releases to find something to write about. Perhaps that’s why the media gave so much attention to National Public Radio’s decision to officially change their name to NPR. I have to admit, since I have referred to them almost exclusively by their initials for years, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. But to some, probably starved for something to fill copy space, this was a

Read more: Remember when there were no initials?

 

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