"There's an old adage about a vat of wine standing next to a vat of sewage. Add a cup of wine to the sewage, and it is still sewage. But add a cup of sewage to the wine, and it is no longer wine but sewage. Is this what Donald Trump has done to our politics?" -- Martha Bayles, in the Claremont Review of Books
WASHINGTON—The Caligulan malice with which Donald Trump administered Paul Ryan's degradation is an object lesson in the price of abject capitulation to power. This episode should be studied as a clinical case of a particular Washington myopia—the ability of career politicians to convince themselves that they and their agendas are of supreme importance.
WASHINGTON—Sen. John Cornyn recalls visiting a Texas prison where some inmates taking shop classes could not read tape measures. Cornyn, who was previously a district court judge and Texas Supreme Court justice, knows that prisons are trying to teach literacy and vocations, trying to cope with the mental illnesses of many inmates and trying to take prophylactic measures to prevent drug-related recidivism by persons imprisoned for drug offenses. "The criminal justice system," he says, "has become by default a social services provider."
WASHINGTON — Frequently predicted but never reached, “peak oil” — maximum possible production — has been postponed yet again, this time because of fracking. “Peak Sanders” was prematurely announced because...
WASHINGTON—Lyndon Johnson simply was exasperated. Barack Obama's mischief was methodical. Four days before the 1966 congressional elections, Johnson, asked about criticism from Richard Nixon, testily responded: "I do not want to get into a debate ... with a chronic campaigner like Mr. Nixon." Johnson's disparagement endeared Nixon to Republican voters, thereby propelling him toward the presidency.
WASHINGTON—Antonin Scalia, who combined a zest for intellectual combat with a vast talent for friendship, was a Roman candle of sparkling jurisprudential theories leavened by acerbic witticisms. The serrated edges of his most passionate dissents sometimes strained the court's comity and occasionally limited his ability to proclaim what the late Justice William Brennan called the most important word in the court's lexicon: "Five."
WASHINGTON—It is frequently said that, unfortunately, Americans disdain government. It is more usefully said that, unfortunately, they have abundant reasons for doing so. In coming days, the Supreme Court, by deciding to hear a case from Connecticut, can begin limiting a contemptible government abuse that the court's passive deference to legislatures has encouraged.
WASHINGTON—When Huck Finn asked Tom Sawyer what a Moslem is, Tom said a Moslem is someone who is not a Presbyterian, which is true, but not the whole truth. Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian ("I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker"), which apparently was not good enough for enough of Iowa's evangelicals.
Michael Bloomberg's epiphany about the 2016 presidential proceedings is that what is missing is a second bossy, big-government billionaire from Manhattan's East Side—another candidate with malleable party loyalties.
China produces an astonishing number of astonishing numbers, including this: In the 20th century, America made automobiles mass-consumption items, requiring prodigious road building.