The story was that union activists attempting to organize and protest their arch nemesis, Walmart, were having difficulty convincing the Walmart employees, who they were ostensibly trying to help, to actually join in with the demonstrations. To "sweeten the pot" a little, the union started paying the employees to join in the protest. While this makes wonderful fodder for a "Fox News story", the truth is a little bit fuzzier than that.
A while back I had some unwelcome guests in my home. Squirrels had managed to chew a hole in the fascia of my house and find their way into the attic. The weather being cold, and the fascia being high, I procrastinated over making the necessary repairs. The varmints had already done the damage, and gained entry to my attic... I supposed eviction and "changing the locks" could be done at my leisure. That proved to be a foolish notion.
The President's recent "mea culpa" with regards to the roll out of the Democrats Affordable Care Act is an attempt to accomplish a few things. In the short term it takes a little of the heat off some of the other Democrat legislators who, unlike the President, are running for reelection in 2014. Like a group of teenagers who get drunk and wreck the family car, they are only too glad to allow the President to take the blame because he was driving. Any one of them could have taken the keys.
Poker is a simple game. You bet that your cards will beat someone else's cards, and if they do, you win. Also if they drop out, you win, even if your cards aren't better. And that's where the game gets interesting. If all the cards were dealt face-up the game would be pretty dull, and winnings would generally even out. But with the cards face down, the bluff comes into play, and how you bet becomes more important than what you are betting on. A good player can win big with losing cards.
Despite protestations from Benjamin Franklin, the symbol selected for the national seal back in 1782 was the bald eagle. Mr. Franklin thought the eagle to be a bird of lesser character, and would have preferred the selection of the wild turkey. I suppose things might seem different to us now had Franklin's selection prevailed, but without delving into ornithological trivia, somehow the eagle seems the cooler choice.
I have to admit, I never really understood Halloween. Oh, as a kid it was fun to dress up in costumes, and the candy... I understand all that. I just don't get the idea of having a day to celebrate scary things. Christmas, Fourth of July, New Years Day, Labor Day... pretty much all the other holidays celebrate good or even great and wonderful things; but Halloween, scary, mischievous, or even evil nasty things. Who thought of that? There seems to be something in the way our brains are made that makes us like being frightened when it's not real. I put Halloween in the category of horror movies, and heart-stopping thrill rides... neither of which do I likewise understand. It may be, as some of my readers have implied, that my brain is defective!
Ours is a government of checks and balances. The framers so designed it to be awkward, contentious and cumbersome. They did so to make it difficult for any one man or group to seize so much control that another bloody revolution would be needed to free the people from tyranny or domination. Whenever someone supposes that winning elections gives them the right to entirely determine the direction the country moves misunderstands the nature of our nation and the representation due even to losing voters, and to the complacent non-voters. We do not elect a King or a dictator... we do not elect rulers at all, we elect servants and representatives. When they fail to represent us, when they fail to serve us, there may come a time when we need to do the job ourselves.
Say what you will about American exceptionalism, one thing we don't do well is tyranny. There have been some fantastic tyrants throughout history, the pharaohs, the Caesars, some of the British monarchs, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung; but where is the great American tyrant? The best we've been able to produce are Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon, and now Barack Obama. All sad substitutes for super tyrants like Idi Amin, or the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Politicians and pundits often suffer from the same vision problem; they find it difficult to see beyond the most recent polls. The ability to see past what people think, to what they will think when it begins to matter, is a rare talent indeed. Most simply parrot the talking points that they have heard from others; such is the case with the recent government shut-down.
The reaction to Ted Cruz's twenty-one hour tirade against the Affordable Care Act, has been a study in diversity. For many he has become their knight in shining armor, the champion of the dismissed and ignored; for others he is the fly in the ointment, putting his own political aspirations above the good of the party; and for yet others he is the silver-tongued devil, the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy. In reality, he is but the latest tip of the spear for a significant group of people that are at odds with their own party leadership, and to an even greater extent with the opposition party.