"We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work."
-- Rep. Paul Ryan
The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking -- some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits -- askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.
You sure do talk funny.
Has anybody ever told you that?
If you grew up in North Carolina and moved somewhere else for a while, you surely got that kind of question from folks who just had to laugh when they heard you talk.
Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
That bit of live-and-let-live wisdom, usually attributed -- some say misattributed -- to Oliver Wendell Holmes, provides a useful framework for considering a high profile case argued before the Supreme Court last week.
"Andre Dawson," Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully once said, "has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren't we all?" Yes, so use some of your remaining time constructively by identifying the player or players who:
Charlotte, where I spent a decade from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, has long been the envy of many cities as it has emerged as a booming financial center, the very epitome of the latest iteration of the New South.
What excuses will they make this time?
Meaning that cadre of letters-to-the-editor writers and conservative pundits who so reliably say such stupid things whenever the subject is race. Indeed, race is the third rail of American conscience; to touch it is to be zapped by rationalizations, justifications and lies that defy reason, but that some must embrace to preserve for themselves the fiction of liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, they'd have to face the fact that advantage and disadvantage, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, life and death, are still parceled out according to melanin content of skin.
Congress should give President Barack Obama more power — when it comes to the issue of free trade, that is.
Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: "If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus." Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe.
There are three pieces of good news about my favorite television program, UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch.”
First, upcoming new programs feature some of North Carolina’s most interesting authors.
And what shall we say now that the monster has died?
His estranged sons Mark and Nate told the world just a few days ago that their 84-year old father, Fred Phelps, was in the care of a hospice and "on the edge of death." Thursday morning, he went over the edge.
Sen. Richard Burr understands that America’s greatest challenge is healthcare and has made it his personal mission to help find solutions to our broken healthcare system. He travels the state seeking input from health professionals and patients, studies new approaches, even offering substitute proposals to The Affordable Care Act. This is obviously more than politics with Burr.
Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan's remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years.
You probably saw UNC sports beat reporter Harold Gutmann's wonderful front-page story Thursday on our area's representation in the NCAA's men's basketball tournament.
"College basketball is king on Tobacco Road, and the NCAA Tournament is the pinnacle of the sport," Gutmann wrote. "This week, it comes together in unprecedented fashion.
Who speaks for Ghanson Debrosse?
Before he was born, many people did. Anti-abortion groups did. Churches did. Protesters did. And lawmakers did. Florida, for instance, requires that a woman undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, and the provider must offer her the option of viewing the image.