Viewed from Washington, which often is the last to learn about important developments, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man's hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.
Constitutional arguments that seem as dry as dust can have momentous consequences. On Monday, the Supreme Court's nine fine minds will hear oral arguments about the meaning of "the" and "happen." What they decide could advance the urgent project of reining in rampant executive power.
Two years from today, Iowa -- dark, brooding, enigmatic Iowa -- will be enjoying its quadrennial moment as the epicenter of the universe. And in 10 months, voters will vent their spleens -- if they still are as splenetic as they now claim to be -- in congressional elections. Some numbers define the political landscape.
This report on the State of Conservatism comes at the end of an annus mirabilis for conservatives. In 2013, they learned that they may have been wasting much time and effort.
Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York says documents called "statements of reasons" are an optional way for a judge to express "views that might be of interest." The one he issued two months ago is still reverberating.
Congressional Republicans' long-simmering dismay about Barack Obama's offenses against the separation of powers became acute when events compelled him to agree with them that the Affordable Care Act could not be implemented as written.
Liberals' love of recycling extends to their ideas, one of which illustrates the miniaturization of Barack Obama's presidency. He fervently favors a minor measure that would have mostly small, mostly injurious effects on a small number of people. Nevertheless, raising the minimum hourly wage for the 23rd time since 1938, from today's $7.25 to $10.10, is a nifty idea, if:
The education of Barack Obama is a protracted process as he repeatedly alights upon the obvious with a sense of original discovery. In a recent MSNBC interview, he restocked his pantry of excuses for his disappointing results, announcing that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly":
In his disproportionate praise of the six-month agreement with Iran, Barack Obama said: "For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program." But if the program, now several decades old, had really been "halted" shortly after U.S. forces invaded neighboring Iraq, we would not be desperately pursuing agreements to stop it now, as about 10,000 centrifuges spin to enrich uranium.
Critics of the agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear program are right about most things but wrong about the most important things.
In 2011, tens of thousands of government employees and others, enraged by Gov. Scott Walker's determination to break the ruinously expensive and paralyzing grip that government workers' unions had on Wisconsin, took over the capitol building in Madison. With chanting, screaming and singing supplemented by bullhorns, bagpipes and drum circles, their cacophony shook the building that the squalor of their occupation made malodorous.
We are tomorrow's past, so this Thanksgiving give thanks for 2013, a year the future might study more for amusement than for edification. HealthCare.gov performed the public service of defeating Barack Obama's ascription of every disagreeable effect to one of two causes -- George W. Bush or global warming.
He has become fodder for an interpretation industry toiling to make his life malleable enough to soothe the sensitivities and serve the agendas of the interpreters. The quantity of writing about him is inversely proportional to the brevity of his presidency.
The New Republic magazine was, appropriately, the stimulant that last week gave the Democratic base a frisson of anticipation about a possible Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy in 2016.
One reason Washington makes so much bad history is that so many people here know so little history. This helps explain why "comprehensive" immigration reform is foundering: Too few of today's legislators know what happened 163 years ago.