Without a definitive judicial ruling or other galvanizing event, a perennial American argument is ending. Capital punishment is withering away.
A near miss can be a sharp spur, so Rick Santorum wants to say something to those who profess condescending puzzlement about his persistence in pursuing the Republican presidential nomination: You probably have no idea how close I came to defeating Mitt Romney in 2012.
Controversies about "free-range parenting" illuminate today's scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader mission of "child protection." And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas.
In the 1950s, during one of his two campaigns as the Democrats' presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson was invited to address a gathering of Baptists in Houston, where in 1960 John Kennedy would address a group of Protestant ministers to refute charges that his Catholicism rendered him unfit to be president. This was an opinion vociferously promulgated by Norman Vincent Peale, a broadcast preacher and author of "The Power of Positive Thinking."
America's smallest state -- one Nevada county is nearly eight times larger -- has the longest name: In a 2010 referendum, voters kept the official title, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The state also has a dark-horse presidential candidate who is the only Democratic candidate so far who can shoe a horse. "Put a blacksmith in the White House" could be Lincoln Chafee's slogan.
Owning a fragment of history -- a Gettysburg bullet, a Coolidge campaign button -- is fun, so in 1968 Gregg Bemis became an owner of the Lusitania. This 787-feet-long passenger liner has been beneath 300 feet of water off Ireland's south coast since a single German torpedo sank it 100 years ago Thursday. It contains the 4 million U.S.-made rifle bullets and other munitions that the ship had been carrying from neutral America to wartime Britain.
Lindsey Graham once said his road to Congress ran through a coronary clinic because it involves so many South Carolina barbecues. Today, as a senator, he thinks he sees a path to the Republican presidential nomination. He has many strengths, but two substantial problems.
Smoking, said King James I in 1604, is "loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs." Three years later he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington.
In oral arguments Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the government defend its kleptocratic behavior while administering an indefensible law. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is among the measures by which New Dealers tried and failed to regulate and mandate America back to prosperity. Seventy-eight years later, it is the government's reason for stealing Marvin and Laura Horne's raisins.
Syracuse University alumni are new additions to the lengthening list of persons who can stop contributing to their alma maters. The university has succumbed -- after, one suspects, not much agonizing -- to the temptation to indulge in progressive gestures. It will divest all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment. It thereby trumps Stanford, whose halfhearted exercise in right-mindedness has been to divest only coal stocks. Evidently carbon from coal is more morally disquieting than carbon from petroleum.
This week brings a constitutional moment illustrating a paradox of Barack Obama's presidency. The catalyst of the drama is legislation proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, asserting Congress' foreign policy responsibilities and prerogatives.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born in 1970, six years after events refuted a theory on which he is wagering his candidacy. The 1964 theory was that many millions of conservatives abstained from voting because the GOP did not nominate sufficiently deep-dyed conservatives. So if in 1964 the party would choose someone like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, hitherto dormant conservatives would join the electorate in numbers sufficient for victory.
An abscess of anger seems to gnaw at Hillary Clinton, but the reasons for her resentments remain unclear. The world's oldest party, which governed the nation during two world wars and is the primary architect of America's regulatory and redistributive state, is eager to give her its presidential nomination, in recognition of ... what?
The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women "are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship," partly because of "the great education divide."
Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself mid-sentence -- his sentences, like some e. e. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated -- to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls. His spirit would add spice and his policies would add substance to the Republican presidential contest.