Commentary

The savage political battle between the tea party and Progressives is much more than fodder for Fox and MSNBC. There is a deep intellectual conflict going on, and we ought to understand the ideas, even as the battle rages. It's about liberty, that most prized and abused American value.

Today's polarized debates about the role of government often boil down to a single issue: the size of government compared with the size of the overall economy, as measured in gross domestic product.

Jeff Jacoby ends his June 29 op-ed column “Cochran’s voting-rights victory” by asserting that black citizens’ right to vote “is no longer endangered anywhere in America.” What America is he talking about?

The shocking thing about the financial collapse of 2008 is not that Wall Street excesses pushed us into the worst economy crisis since the Depression. It's that the same financial system has been propped back up and that elites are getting richer than ever, while the effects of that collapse are continuing to sandbag the rest of the economy. Oh, and most of this aftermath happened while a Democrat was in the White House.

In a 2006 Saturday Night Live sketch, Chris Parnell sums up the conventional wisdom about credit card debt:

Did you know millions of Americans live with debt they can not control? That's why I've developed this unique new program for managing your debt. It's called Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford.

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As the White House convenes its summit on the issues facing working families this week, it’s easy to feel discouraged. The proposals topping the agenda–paid leave, flexible work, childcare–are all great ideas. The problem is they’re the same great ideas advocates have been suggesting for years—decades, even.

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The White House is holding a summit Monday, June 23 on working families. The summit is intended to call attention to the fact that President Obama wants to raise wages and job opportunities for working Americans, especially for working women. This is a welcome initiative, though there is a great deal that the President could do by executive order without waiting for a deadlocked Congress to act.

Paid family leave, which tops the agenda of next Monday's White House Summit on Working Families, and which was discussed at Tuesday's CNN town hall with Hillary Clinton, is a good idea whose time has come -- and gone. And come. And gone.

Asked whether paid maternity leave should be mandated by law, Clinton said "eventually, it should be, but, right now, we're seeing some -- some very good proposals being implemented in other parts of the country, so that we have answers."

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Here in polyglot New York, pop into any bar, restaurant or even dry cleaner and chances are there’s a TV set tuned to the World Cup. The fever has taken hold in our city as it has around the planet, with hundreds of millions watching the soccer — football — action from Brazil, this year’s host country.

There are lots of things that black people in the US should be protesting right now. High unemployment. The extreme loss of wealth. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Gun violence. The entire state of Florida. Yet one of the main things to dominate the news lately is the hairstyle of a particularly famous 2-year old. It’s one of the few things I don’t think we need to worry about.

About 5,000 plus people disagree with me.

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