Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking -- the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina's State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty -- the right of Americans to earn a living without unreasonable government interference.
Monday, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” aired a five-minute segment titled “Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously.”
The next day, the U. S. Supreme Court vaulted same-sex marriage to the cusp of legality from coast to coast when it declined to review five appellate court rulings that bans on those marriages are unconstitutional.
Our topic du jour: the latest stunning milestone in the march toward gay equality.
No, the other stunning milestone.
Gov. Chris Christie could be forgiven if he had chips on both shoulders as big as those shoulders. This year, the first of his second term, has been overshadowed by often partisan investigations, more protracted than productive, of the involvement of several of his former aides -- he fired them -- in the closing of some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.
As the International Bluegrass Music Association’s five-day “World of Bluegrass Festival” wound down in Raleigh a few days ago, some people were still asking where did bluegrass music come from, anyway?
North Carolinians have a quick and certain answer: It came out of the hills and hollows of our Appalachian region.
And where did that mountain music come from?
Every 36 years, it seems Jeff Bell disturbs New Jersey's political order. In 1978, as a 34-year-old apostle of supply-side economics and a harbinger of the Reagan Revolution, he stunned the keepers of the conventional wisdom by defeating a four-term senator, Clifford Case, in the Republican primary. Bell, a Columbia University graduate who fought in Vietnam, lost to Bill Bradley in the 1978 general election, but in 1982 he went to Washington to help implement President Reagan's economic policies that produced five quarters of above 7 percent growth and six years averaging 4.6 percent.
I suspect no one wants to know what I did on vacation, but indulge me a few precautionary, perhaps even pessimistic, thoughts.
"The legislative department is everywhere ... drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."
-- James Madison, Federalist 48
Unfortunately, Congress' vortex now spins the other way, throwing off powers that the executive scoops up.
There are two shops on 9th Street in Durham featuring different messages about our dear city. One has a t-shirt in the window that says “Durham, It’s Not For Everyone.” Another features a t-shirt that says “Durham, It’s For Everyone.”
I love both stores, but I like the second t-shirt better.
The Machine Shed restaurant, where the waitresses wear bib overalls and suggest a cinnamon roll the size of a loaf of bread as a breakfast appetizer, sells a root beer called Dang!, bandages made to look like bacon strips, and signs that proclaim "I love you more than bacon." For Joni Ernst, however, the apposite sign reads "No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side."
While you are watching U.S. Senate campaign television ads, occasionally interrupted by brief segments of programming, do you ever wonder what goes on inside the candidates’ campaign organizations?
This is a tale of two countries.
The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I fly a lot less these days than I have, and for that I am mostly grateful.
With apologies to the United States Marines, Emma Watson is looking for a few good men.
Tacked to the wall of Greg Orman's campaign office is a print of a John Steuart Curry painting, "Tragic Prelude," that hangs in the capitol in Topeka. It depicts John Brown of Osawatomie, 39 miles south of here, as what he was, a deranged product of "bleeding Kansas," the Civil War's overture. Today, Orman, who is as calm as Brown was crazed, is emblematic of fascinating Kansas.